Viggo Mortensen's The Road Might Not Make its 2008 Debut
by Alex Billington
October 16, 2008
This is no longer just a rumor - Viggo Mortensen's film The Road is apparently going to be delayed. We've had the film listed for November 14th on our Release Schedule since the beginning of the year. Back in May we got our first glimpse of what it would look like, but since then, we haven't seen or heard much else. This potential release date shift comes right after Harvey Weinstein moved up the released of Stephen Daldry's The Reader to early December. Add to that the consideration that the film apparently isn't entirely done and ready yet, and it seemingly makes some sense to move it to 2009 instead. Or does it?
To me, this seems like a textbook example of idiotic Hollywood marketing decisions. Why is The Reader's release date change affecting The Road at all? Well, I'm guessing that The Weinstein Company can't handle Oscar season marketing on two movies at once, even though they'd be three or four weeks apart. I can't speak for film's preparedness and if it is indeed ready or not, but I don't think it has heavy CGI work and it did shoot much earlier this year. What can speak for is the fact that The Road already has a lot of early buzz whereas The Reader does not. In fact, I hadn't even heard of The Reader until a few weeks ago. So why are they moving The Road when to me it seems like it would make more money than The Reader?
Executives from Weinstein are meeting with producers on Thursday to discuss whether or not they can move it to 2009, since I'm sure the produces expected all along that The Road would be an Oscar contender. My suggestion - don't move it at all! If I were Harvey Weinstein (and don't we all wish that), I'd dump The Reader in February next year. A boring romantic drama starring Kate Winslet and directed by the guy who made Billy Elliot and The Hours? Doesn't sound like a sleeper hit to me at all. Doesn't even sound like an Oscar contender. And if Winslet is eventually nominated for an Oscar, it'll probably be for Revolutionary Road more than anything else. So why risk screwing over a potential hit for a boring drama?
The Road is tentatively scheduled for release sometime in December, but we'll be plenty hearing more after the meeting on Thursday. The film is directed by John Hillcoat and based on Cormac McCarthy's book of the same name. We'll be sure to let you know what date they do settle on. This just goes to further prove why The Weinstein Company is quickly becoming one of the worst distributors in Hollywood.