EXCLUSIVE: Open Road has just set a date for Oliver Stone’s Snowden — it will now bow on May 13 after being pushed off its Christmas Day date last month and, therefore, out of Oscar contention. The film, which stars The Walk‘s Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the Divergent franchise’s Shailene Woodley, is about Edward Snowden, the infamous government whistleblower — or traitor, depending on your viewpoint — who leaked classified documents and information to the media.
Scheduled on the same date in May right now is the wide release of Paramount’s Friday the 13th (sooo many remakes) and the limited release of Fox Searchlight’s A Bigger Splash, which stars Ralph Fiennes and Dakota Johnson, so competitively it’s in a good spot. There is an film that appeals to an older demo set for the week before — Warner Bros Going in Style starring Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin — but the rest of the tentpoles around that date are a different genre and demographic makeup.
The May 13 spot also allows Stone plenty of time to finish the film and the Open Road team to actually figure out how to market it properly. The real question is how to position this film as a summer movie — more than a year after the bow of Citizenfour, the Snowden documentary that won an Oscar, an Emmy, DGA, BAFTA, National Society of Film Critics (heck, what didn’t it win?). Maybe the distributor get lucky and Snowden will decide to come back to the U.S. and get arrested.
Christmas 2015 is a crowded one with Star Wars: The Force Awakens (out December 18), the Jennifer Lawrence starring Joy, the family-friendly sequel Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip, the remake of Point Break from director Ericson Core, the Will Smith drama Concussion and the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy Daddy’s Home — not to mention the platform openings for the Weinstein Company’s Quentin Tarantino pic The Hateful Eight and Fox’s The Revenant starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy from director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.