It came as a surprise last year when two potential Oscar contenders - true-story dramas Grace of Monaco and Foxcatcher - were both removed from the 2013 awards season competition on short notice. The two films will premiere at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, but whereas the Grace biopic is currently without a U.S. release date, that's no longer the case for the new real-life story-turned film directed by Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball).
Sony Pictures Classics, according to a report by THR, now plans to release Foxcatcher in the U.S. on November 14th, 2014. There, it will serve as counter-programming to that weekend's additional freshman titles, in the shapes of David Ayer's WW II thriller Fury and the belated Farrelly Brothers' comedy sequel Dumb and Dumber To.
Miller's latest film could be as smart, well-crafted and powerful as his previous work. Similar to how Capote snagged the late Philip Seymour Hoffman an Oscar, before Moneyball earned star Brad Pitt an Oscar nod, Foxcatcher could well bring some attention from the Academy to lead Steve Carell - who, with the assistance of some facial prosthetics, is playing the paranoid schizophrenic industrial heir John du Pont.
The Foxcatcher script by E. Max Frye (Where the Money Is) and Dan Futterman (Capote) explores du Pont's relationship with two Olympic wrestler brothers (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo), which started out as mutually beneficial before it went horribly wrong and ended up very much a tragedy. Miller's film will also find Tatum in dramatic form again - something he's been more inclined towards doing in recent years, having done fine work in movies like 10 Years, The Vow, Magic Mike, and Side Effects.
Moving away from dramas inspired by disturbing real-life incidents; Lionsgate has set the crime/comedy Mortedcai to hit U.S. theaters on February 6th, 2015, where the film will open against the YA fantasy novel adaptation Seventh Son and Liam Neeson's crime drama Run All Night. The Mortdecai cast includes Johnny Depp and his Transcendence costar Paul Bettany, as well as folk like Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Aubrey Plaza, and Jeff Goldblum.
Here is how Deadline summarizes the plot for Mortdecai:
The action comedy, adapted from the 1970s novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli, centers on debonair art dealer and part-time rogue Charlie Mortdecai (Depp). Charlie juggles angry Russians, the British Mi5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist as he travels the globe in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filed with Nazi gold.
Mortdecai was co-written by the relative newcomer Eric Aronson, Peter Baynham (Hotel Transylvania), and David Koepp, with the latter also directing. Koepp, best known for writing blockbusters like Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, previously directed Depp in the Stephen King novel adaptation Secret Window. Koepp the director tends to produce mostly-solid, if unremarkable genre fare like Stir of Echoes and Premium Rush, so it might be best to expect no more, no less from the madcap European caper antics of Mortdecai.
Last, but certainly not least, the comedy The Nest has been scheduled by Universal to hit U.S. theaters on December 18th, 2015, as an offering to moviegoers who decide they're not in the mood to see Star Wars: Episode VII when it opens in theaters that same day. The film stars Amy Poehler and Tina Fey as (to quote Deadline) "two disconnected sisters cleaning out their parents’ family home who throw one last high school rager for their now-grown former classmates."
Paula Pell (a longtime writer on Saturday Night Live) penned the Nest script, which is going to be directed by Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect). In all honesty, Poehler and Fey have such a easy-going chemistry together - whether playing an odd couple in Baby Mama or playing off one another as the Golden Globes hosts - that it's difficult to imagine that The Nest won't be - at the least - decent comedy entertainment for their fans, no matter the script/directing quality.
Foxcatcher opens in U.S. theaters on November 14th, 2014, followed by Mortdecai on February 6th, 2015, and The Nest on December 18th, 2015.