A number of intriguing news items broke today that affect the upcoming awards season or are simply worth discussing. Some quick thoughts on each…
Michael Moore’s “Where To Invade Next” finds a home
One of two opening night films at TIFF earlier this month, “Where To Invade” has finally found a distributor. The well-received documentary will be released by a still unnamed new company founded by RADiUS founders Tom Quinn and Jason Janego as well as Drafthouse owner Tim League. They plan on releasing “Invade” this December, but there is no word on whether it will have a simultaneous or quick jump to VOD (one frustration Quinn and Janego were said to have with RADiUS’ arrangement with TWC). Obviously, “Invade” is a contender for a Best Documentary nomination, but it’s not a lock. The buzz around town is that Moore ruffled too many feathers in the Documentary Branch when he was an Academy Governor. Will that come back to haunt him this time around? More intriguing is this new distribution company with League’s involvement. The future of Drafthouse Films is unclear, but it also found major difficulty becoming a serious player on the art house circuit. Will Quinn and Janego’s involvement help League take the next step? There’s certainly room at the table…
“Concussion” gets a prime AFI Film Fest berth
Sony Pictures and AFI announced today that Peter Landsman’s “Concussion” will have its world premiere on Nov. 10th as AFI Fest’s centerpiece gala. That’s a signal Sony Pictures is taking the movie’s awards prospects seriously and that they believe Will Smith is a major player in the Best Actor race. The movie has already become the NFL’s greatest nightmare (preparing for an E-mail based on this one line from the NFL PR department in 5, 4, 3, 2…) and if it can illicit strong reviews the studio has some ammunition against whatever takedown campaign the league is coming up with around the movie (oh, trust, it’s happening). More intriguingly, is this it for AFI? The word was already out that “The Revenant” wouldn’t be ready in time to premiere during the festival, but is “Joy” out of the picture as well? It’s worth noting that last year’s surprises, “Selma” and “American Sniper,” were somewhat last minute additions to the schedule so there’s still hope for a somewhat early look at David O. Russell’s next Oscar bait flick.
The Critics Choice Awards attempts to become the alternative Golden Globes
A&E and the Broadcast Film Critics Association announced today that the 2016 Critics Choice Awards would focus not only on movie honors, but hand out statues for the best in television as well. It’s also the org effectively admitting its strategy of doing an awards show during early Emmy voting didn’t work and if the overall brand was going to survive the main show needed more star power to drive ratings. They are attempting to directly compete with the Golden Globes, but until the CCA turns into that sort of red carpet and post-party machine it won’t amount to much. The only positive about the merger is it probably means less silly awards such as Best Actor in an Action Movie or Best Actress in a Comedy. Of course, according to Variety the January 17 broadcast will now be three-hours long so…yeah. Frankly, it’s always been hard to take the Critic’s Choice Awards seriously. This won’t change much, but hey, those BFCA members love those free year-end screeners…
Daniel Craig insists he’s Bond as long as he wants to be
There has been a lot of speculation recently about who will take over the mantle of James Bond once Daniel Craig steps away from playing the world’s most famous secret agent. Everyone from Idris Elba to Damian Lewis has been speculated to take over. The problem is that Craig isn’t planning on leaving anytime soon. He told the Daily Mail, “It’s getting harder. But such is life. I’ll keep going as long as I’m physically able.” and “I’m contracted for one more – but I’m not going to make predictions.” This is slightly different from what he’s said in the past, but perhaps Craig is just having too much fun to give it up. He’s contracted for one more flick after the upcoming “SPECTRE.” At that point, he’ll be close to 50. Pierce Brosnan lost the job at 49, but that was more about EON Productions wanting reboot after “Die Another Day” more than anything else. Could Craig play Bond until he hits 60? Why not?
The “Serial” TV series you knew was inevitable is happening
A year ago the inaugural “Serial” broadcast from Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder became a cultural phenomenon. While the second season appears imminent Fox 21 Television has announced a television version of the series is in the works to be executive produced by Koenig, Snyder and none other than the very busy Chris Miller and Phil Lord. It’s unclear which case the show may follow (“Serial” is supposedly working on two concurrently), but it appears the intended for cable series will follow the investigation documentary style (think HBO’s “The Jinx” and HBO’s “Vice” docs). We’re slightly concerned this will ruin the magic of the podcast, but maybe Miller and Lord’s involvement will, cough, give Koenig and Snyder the feedback they need to not drag the ending out like they did with season one? As for Miller and Lord, these two gentlemen continue to grow their empire. They are producing FOX’s “Last Man on Earth,” “23 Jump Street,” “The Lego Batman Movie,” “The Lego Movie Sequel” and directing the “Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film.” And aren’t they supposed to be behind the animated “Spider-Man” movie in the works for Sony Pictures as well? Good luck finding times to attend Clipper home games Phil.
What do you think of today’s news? Share your thoughts below.