Weinstein Co. sets Mary Magdalene, Current War & Wind River in Oscar slots

The Weinstein Company hasn’t been a major player in the Oscar race in a few years, with last year’s hopefuls – mainly THE FOUNDER– not getting much attention (despite its great reception). But the studio still has some hopeful aces in the hole, and it plans to unleash them like only things coming out of holes can be with a slate of films – MARY MAGDALENE, THE CURRENT WAR, and WIND RIVER – all getting prime Oscar releases.

First up is the biblical epic, MAGDALENE, which pairs HER stars Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara as Jesus and Mary, telling the story about how Mary ended up joining Jesus’s gang. The movie is being helmed by LION’s Garth Davis and will get the sweet spot of November 24. This is the same frame LION was released, and will give the movie plenty of room to spread in December, and at least box office wise capitalize on holiday audiences.

Next is the Benedict Cumberbatch/Michael Shannon drama THE CURRENT WAR about the rivalry between Thomas Edison (Batch) and George Westinghouse (Shannon). The film is set for December 22, a good slot but one that could mean a shift into January if it doesn’t play like an Oscar movie (see LIVE BY NIGHT, GOLD, THE FOUNDER, etc.). But the movie is slated to expand on Jan. 19 anyway, and we got the first photo not too long ago (above), and Batch is looking quite fancy in this period drama, which is enough to get a golden statue alone.

Finally there’s the Taylor Sheridan directorial debut, WIND RIVER, with Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). The film debuted at Sundance to positive response (read Chris Bumbray's glowing review here!), and The Weinstein Co. is hoping to capitalize on HELL OR HIGH WATER’s success (also written by Sheridan) by giving it a limited release on August 4 (around the same time as HELL) before expanding a week later. This is a tricky move given how it’s not in the heart of Oscar season, per se, but if it has the legs of HELL it could be a major player in the awards season.

So there you have it. These are some movies to definitely keep an eye out for come that time of the year, even though they all have the potential to disappoint as much as they do to impress. Time will only tell if MAGDALENE can bring glory back to the biblical epic, if Batch can score his second Oscar nom and if Sheridan really is a wunderkind of legendary proportions. I’ll check out all these films, but I only have one thing to say to all these films: stay out of THE LAST JEDI’s way.

Source: THR



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