Paramount Pictures has announced a release date and expanded title for director Michael Bay’s next film, which does not involve robots. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi will hit theaters on January 15, 2016, which is the same weekend that this year’s American Sniper went wide and subsequently became the highest grossing film of 2014 (it counts as a 2014 movie because it first opened in limited release on Christmas). It is currently unclear if Bay’s film will—gasp—get an Oscar-qualifying run in December, or if it’ll simply open everywhere in January. Regardless, it’ll be facing off against the comedy sequel Ride Along 2, the animation sequel The Nut Job 2 (this exists?!), and the YA film The 5th Wave.
As the subtitle suggests, 13 Hours tells the story of the six members of the security team that fought to defend the Americans stationed at the embassy in Benghazi when it came under attack. John Krasinski leads a cast that includes James Badge Dale, Max Martini (Pacific Rim), Pablo Schreiber (Orange Is the New Black), and David Denman (The Office). The screenplay was penned by The Strain author/writer Chuck Hogan, adapted from the book by Mitchell Zuckoff.
Bay hasn’t tackled more dramatic-skewing material since 2005’s The Island (his only box office failure), and the last time he went for historical action-drama territory we got Pearl Harbor, but given the release date, Paramount will no doubt be positioning 13 Hours as an American Sniper-esque tale of heroism abroad. Whether the movie will be any good or not remains to be seen, but it’s not hard to imagine 13 Hours being a pretty sizeable hit—especially with Bay at the helm.
In other release date news, Tom Hiddleston has officially entered the Oscar race. Sony Pictures Classics has scheduled the Hiddleston-fronted Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light for release on November 27th in limited release, where it will square off with other Oscar contender The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne and directed by Tom Hooper. Hiddleston does all his own singing in I Saw the Light, which also stars Elizabeth Olsen and Bradley Whitford. Expect the picture to pop up during the fall festival season in anticipation of an awards campaign.