Director Jay Roach's untitled Roger Ailes movie officially lands a December 2019 release date. The film, which features an all-star cast including Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, and John Lithgow, revolves around a group of women that took on the former Fox News chairman, who resigned from his position in 2016 amidst a sexual harassment scandal. It was previously set up at Annapurna before being dropped late last year as production was ramping up. Roach conducted principal photography as the project searched for a new studio.
Given the film's pedigree and timely subject matter, it was never expected to be sans distributor for long. The Ailes movie is now at Lionsgate, who clearly has some big plans in store for their latest acquisition. The studio is definitely thinking ahead to the 2020 Oscars race, as they've firmly planted the Ailes movie in the thick of awards season.
According to Deadline, the film will open on December 20, 2019. At first glance, the Roger Ailes project seems tailor-made for a limited Oscar-qualifying run at the end of the month, but word is it will go wide on that date.
Of course, this puts the Ailes movie directly against Star Wars: Episode IX, as well as the upcoming Cats film adaptation. Star Wars will more than likely win that weekend handily, but all three films should do fine commercially in their own right. Each one will be targeting a very different demographic and there'll be minimal crossover between audiences. Lionsgate is obviously going for the older, prestige fare crowd by giving them a counter-programming option that'll hopefully live up to its on-paper potential and be one of the better offerings of the year. The studio must be quite confident in the project if they're staking out prime awards season real estate in December.
And that faith isn't entirely unfounded. The stacked ensemble alone (consisting of previous Oscar winners and nominees) would be enough to thrill cinephiles, but Roach is coming off the well-received biopic Trumbo (which earned Bryan Cranston a Best Actor nod) and writer Charles Randolph picked up an Oscar of his own for his work on Adam McKay's The Big Short. Granted, that doesn't guarantee the Roger Ailes project will in fact find itself up for multiple awards several months from now, but it certainly boasts all the right ingredients to be something special. Viewers will get a better idea of how this one stacks up once a trailer is released, but for now, it's hard to not get excited by its promise.