Open Road Films has opted to push the release date of Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden movie, but not for the first time. Initially slated to open in theaters last December, the studio made the decision to push the aptly named Snowden out of the holiday corridor and into a May 13th slot instead. This signaled that Stone’s movie either wasn’t ready, wasn’t an awards contender, or both, but now THR reports that the studio is making another change to the schedule, pushing Snowden’s release from May to September 16th—the beginning of awards season.
Scripted by Stone and Kieran Fitzgerald, the film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the former NSA contractor and charts his life from the U.S. Army Reserves to his decision to download and leak classified NSA documents that set the world ablaze with controversy. Shailene Woodley plays Snowden’s girlfriend in the drama, with Nicolas Cage, Zachary Quinto, Melissa Leo, Tom Wilkinson, Rhys Ifans, Timothy Olyphant, Keith Stanfield, and Scott Eastwood filling out the impressive ensemble.
Many pegged Snowden as a safe bet for this year’s Cannes Film Festival, but now the film could arrive during the fall film festival season, premiering at some combination of the Venice, Telluride, or Toronto International Film Festival. The September 16th weekend is currently home to the Dave Franco thriller Nerve, the Screen Gems drama When the Bough Breaks, and Universal’s Bridget Jones’s Baby, so the competition isn’t terribly tough in terms of box office, although one imagines a narrative film about Edward Snowden in the wake of Citizenfour could have considerably limited appeal.
Will the movie be any good? Considering Stone hasn’t made a genuinely good film since 1999’s Any Given Sunday, I’m wary, but I’d love nothing more than to be pleasantly surprised. Watch the movie’s teaser trailer below.