Clint Eastwood is getting in the 2018 awards race with his new movie, The Mule. Variety reports that the Warner Bros. thriller will open on December 14th and will face off against the blockbuster Mortal Engines, the rom-com Second Act, and the animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. However, Variety notes that The Mule is more of a “commercial effort” and not expect to be a major Oscar contender, although with the Academy’s love for Eastwood, you never know.
The Mule marks Eastwood’s first screen role since 2012’s Trouble with the Curve and has him playing “Earl Stone, a man in his 80s who is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. After being assigned a menacing handler, Stone also attracts attention from DEA agent Colin Bates,” who is played by Bradley Cooper. The film also stars Dianne Wiest and Michael Pena.
You may recall that we reported on The Mule back in May, and it looks like Eastwood’s quick turnaround time is just a result of the fact that he doesn’t shoot many takes and likes to finish his movies on time and under budget. It will be interesting to see if the Academy possibly warms to Eastwood for a Best Actor nod, although he hasn’t been nominated for a performance since 2004’s Million Dollar Baby.
As I said back in May, “Eastwood tackling the drug war seems…ill-advised. When you consider how much pain and misery the Mexican drug cartels regularly inflict on the Mexican people and then say, ‘The story I really want to tell is how this was tough for a working class white guy,’ you’re delving into some really tricky territory,” but if this movie is coming out in a few months, presumably we’ll see a trailer soon and we’ll have a better idea of what Eastwood is going for.