Universal Pictures has set a Hail, Caesar! release date for the next film from writers/directors Joel and Ethan Coen. The comedy has been slated for release on February 5, 2016, which marks the first 1st Quarter release date for a Coen Brothers film since 2004’s The Ladykillers. The film takes place in 1950s Hollywood, during the latter years of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and “follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix.” The incredible ensemble cast is led by Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, and Jonah Hill. More on this curious choice of release date for Hail, Caesar! after the jump.
It’s been a decade since a Coen Brothers film wasn’t released in the fall, in the heat of awards season, so it’s a bit odd to see Hail, Caesar! landing in February 2016. Not only is February not the traditional launching pad for new films from auteur directors, but 2016 seems like a long way away given that production on the pic begins later this year. Sure Hail, Caesar! doesn’t seem to be a drama in the vein of True Grit or No Country for Old Men, but even Burn After Reading was released in September.
Nevertheless, release dates aren’t set in stone so it’s entirely possible that Universal could alter its strategy once post-production gets underway. Moreover, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and Raising Arizona were all released in March, and they all turned out fine. I’m also kind of excited by the prospect of a more comedic picture from the Coen Brothers. All of their films have humor, and Inside Llewyn Davis could certainly be seen as a very dark comedy, but the filmmakers have been a bit somber as of late. They’ve always marched to the beat of their own drum, so I’m very much eager to see what their spin on 1950s Hollywood fixers entails.