Martin Scorsese’s previous collaboration with his current muse Leonardo DiCaprio, on Shutter Island, was being groomed for a 2008 awards season release before it ended up being pushed back to the next year. Ultimately, though, Paramount got the last laugh, since the studio’s decision contributed to the film – a high-art pulp treatment of Dennis Lehane’s Cold War paranoia mystery/thriller novel that wasn’t strong enough (critically-speaking) to win the big Oscar prize anyway - grossing $295 million worldwide during the less-competitive first quarter of 2009.
Is history going to repeat itself, now that Paramount is mulling a release date shift for Scorsese and DiCaprio’s new project, The Wolf of Wall Street? The duo’s adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s memoir features an all-star cast, a screenplay from Emmy-winner Terence Winter (creator of Boardwalk Empire) and an exhilarating trailer brought to life by Kanye West’s music – in other words, it’s fresh Oscar bait just waiting to be served (on paper, that is).
THR is reporting that Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street runs three hours long in rough form, while Hitfix mentions that the current version of the motion picture – portraying Belfort as a Scarface-like stockbroker who rises to (in)famy in 1990s America – includes several elements “that would easily yield an NC-17 rating.”
As such, it seems highly probable that the movie will be delayed from its previously-scheduled November 15th, 2013 release date, so that Scorsese and his longtime editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, have the necessary time to get the film’s running length down by at least around 15-30 minutes – if only to get the desired R-Rating. (It probably helps that Paramount is going to launch another potential awards contender on that same date, with Alexander Payne’s Nebraska beginning a limited release.)
If Wolf of Wall Street is ready to go by this December, then (according to THR) Paramount will postpone the Jack Ryan franchise reboot – starring Chris Pine and Kevin Costner – from its current Winter Holiday date. The plan, should that happen, would be for Paramount to release Scorsese’s movie in theaters in time for Oscar-qualification (if only in NY/LA, like Zero Dark Thirty did last year), while moving the Jack Ryan feature to the Martin Luther King Jr. frame in January 2014 (i.e. the first lucrative holiday weekend of the year).
Director Kenneth Branagh’s take on the Tom Clancy series would probably benefit from not having to duke it out with more buzzed-about upcoming titles – like the Keanu Reeves’ 3D samurai epic 47 Ronin and Ben Stiller’s promising remake The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - during its opening weekend; in addition to other holdovers, such as The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, that is. Plus, it’s fair to say that the general public’s interest in the Jack Ryan property isn’t exactly high right now, especially in the absence of a trailer to get them excited.
In short: don’t count Wolf of Wall Street out from the 2013 awards contest just yet.
The Wolf of Wall Street is currently scheduled to open in theaters on November 15th, 2013, followed by Jack Ryan on December 25th. We’ll let you know when/if that changes.