Throughout his career, Jake Gyllenhaal has consistently proven to be one the best actors in the industry. Donnie Darko went a long way in starting this mindset, and he rose to a Best Supporting Actor nomination from the Academy thanks to his role in Brokeback Mountain. Ever since then, Gyllenhaal has continued to star in roles that could've brought him back into the Oscar race. Between Zodiac, End of Watch, Prisoners, Demolition, Nocturnal Animals, his newest movie Life, or arguably his best performance in Nightcrawler, he has continued to get close.
This year, Gyllenhaal has a few possible ways to get the awards recognition, such as Okja - but the size of his role is not yet known. However, the best chance he has could come with Stronger, a movie revolving around the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and now it has an awards friendly release date to help his chances.
Deadline has revealed that Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions are planning to release Stronger on September 22nd of this year. This date should help the film to get a jump start on awards season, potentially being an early contender for Gyllenhaal to land his first lead Oscar nomination. Gyllenhaal will portray Jeff Bauman, telling his story of losing both legs as he waited at the finish line for his girlfriend.
This will mark the second straight year Lionsgate releases a movie based around these events. Last year, Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg teamed up for a third time to make Patriots Day, which they also thought would play into awards season. That was not the case - not to the fault of the quality of the film - but now the studios appear to think that Stronger could be their chance.
While the release date and Gyllenhaal's attachment could point to possible awards chatter, the truth is no one knows how well it will be received when it does hit theaters. Ultimately, if early insider reactions and possible festival screenings result in positive reception, Lionsgate could decide to push the film back further so it is not forgotten as other possible contenders emerge later in the year.
Stronger will also mark a more dramatic turn for director David Gordon Green. While Our Brand is Crisis is more of a dramatic film, Pineapple Express is far from the tone usually found in awards contending movies. Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany is also set to star as Gyllenhaal's girlfriend, Erin Hurley. The talent involved and this new date could point to Stronger factoring into the awards conversation late this year/early 2018, but only time will tell just how great the film and the performances truly are.
Next: Life Review
Stronger debuts in theaters September 22, 2017.