As the Oscar race enters the early stages of “smart” prognosticating along with the festival circuit, one of the big contenders makes a big move. David Ayer‘s upcoming and highly anticipated Fury starring Academy Award winner Brad Pitt has been pushed up a month from its original November 14th release to a now very confident October 17.
Sony Pictures, the film’s distributor, must be feeling very confident with its awards chances at the moment. With no other presumed contenders for the studio on the horizon, Fury looks to be the studio’s main focus. The trailer that dropped more than a month ago got many pundits excited. I myself took on co-star Logan Lerman in my Best Supporting Actor predictions based on the look of the trailer. The only other hump to jump will be Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, another World War II film that will be released on Christmas. With the sliding scale for Best Picture, there’s definite room for both in a lineup if the quality is intact but one may steal focus from the other when the big awards start getting handed out.
With its earlier release, which it will now share with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) with Michael Keaton, Michael Cuesta’s Kill the Messenger with Jeremy Renner, and Peter Sattler’s Camp X-Ray with Kristen Stewart, Ayer’s prestige picture will not only likely dominate the box office that weekend but the lion’s share of audience talk as well. Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal and the animated The Book of Life will also have a nationwide release that weekend. The film now positions itself as possible entry into the New York Film Festival, perhaps even as the “secret screening,” which the festival didn’t unveil last season. According to Kris Tapley at HitFix, Telluride and Toronto were “never in the cards.”
As of now, Sony Pictures other planned releases for the year include The Equalizer with Denzel Washington, which will have its premiere at TIFF, the ethnic remake of Annie with Oscar-nominee Quvenzhane Wallis, and the international war comedy The Interview with Seth Rogen and James Franco. Earlier this year, Sony released George Clooney’s The Monuments Men, the remake of Robocop, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and probably their biggest hit financially and with critics, 22 Jump Street.
I do plan on updating the Oscar Predictions one last time prior to the beginning of Telluride and TIFF. Fury will likely creep higher on the list in categories like Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay. For now, the film sits comfortably predicted in Supporting Actor, Film Editing, and both Sound categories.
Fury also stars Jon Bernthal, Michael Pena, and Shia LeBeouf. It is written by David Ayer with a technical crew that includes DP Roman Vasyanov (End of Watch), composer Steven Price (Gravity), and Film Editor Dody Dorn (Memento). It is being produced by Ayer, Bill Block (Elysium), John Lesher (also producing Birdman), and Ethan Smith (Sabotage).