It’s been a long road to get Collateral Beauty up and running for a 2016 release date. First, the film looked to be Alfonso Gomez-Rejon‘s official follow-up to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, a film that was quite inventive but blatantly sentimental in a memorably cheap way. The subject matter of Collateral Beauty, which revolves around the downward emotional spiral of a New York City ad executive (Will Smith), would seemingly be a good match for the director, similarly dealing with a mounting sense of dread and plenty of gallows humor. Soon enough, however, Gomez-Rejon was off the project, reportedly due to creative differences, and the film was punted over to David Frankel, the man behind The Devil Wears Prada and (shudder) Marley & Me. In comparison to the cheesy, mildly funny melodramas of Frankel, Gomez-Rejon is a regular John Cassavetes.
Now comes an even bigger hurdle for the drama, which co-stars Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, and Edward Norton. As THR reports, the film’s release date has been set as December 16th. That release date might sound familiar if you follow the release calendar: that would be the day that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released. A promising off-shoot of the Star Wars saga, Rogue One sports not only a cast that includes Mads Mikkelsen, Felicity Jones, Forrest Whitaker, and the great Ben Mendelsohn, but also has Gareth Edwards, the man who turned Godzilla into a work of mortal investigation and aesthetic beauty, at the helm of the project, which revolves around the theft of the Death Star blueprints.
Even if the film was going to be directed by McG though, being matched up against any Star Wars movie is nobody’s idea of a picnic. Sure, Collateral Beauty would be the presumed prime alternative for those who are not fans of Star Wars, new or old, but the pedigree doesn’t suggest much more than a visually bland film with an incredibly talented cast. Of course, Frankel might very surprise us – The Devil Wears Prada is enjoyable in a indifferent, passable sort of way – and Smith is such a tremendous performer that he could very well make the price of admission worth it…after you see Rogue One.