EXCLUSIVE: The transgender drama About Ray, the Weinstein Company film starring Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon that had been scheduled to debut this weekend, has been pulled. It will now go sometime later in the year and is, as of right now, unset. About Ray was recently shown at the Toronto Film Festival. TWC acquired the pic, originally titled Three Generations, at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in a pricey $6M acquisition deal. The film played at the Princess of Wales Theatre on Saturday night where it received a standing ovation coupled with good reviews from the trades.
Essentially, About Ray will qualify for an Oscar run this year. However, given the crowded awards contender atmosphere coming out of TIFF, the mind-set is to plot the proper release date for About Ray to maximize its box office potential. About Ray follows Sarandon as a lesbian grandmother, Naomi Watts as a mother, and 17-year-old Elle Fanning as a teenager transitioning from female to male. One of the big transgender films that’s coming on strong this awards season is Focus Features’ The Danish Girl, which received rave reviews at TIFF for Eddie Redmayne’s turn as artist Lili Elbe and Alicia Vikander’s role as his conflicted, but inspired, wife Gerda Wegener.
The Weinsteins’ first fall movie will now be Burnt which stars Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller. That one, which looks to be a strong title, will bow on October 23. Just when TWC might release About Ray will be tricky as heading into November the company is set to bow Carol, Todd Haynes’ lesbian lover film starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara which the company acquired two years ago. It debuts on November 20, moved up from Christmas. Carol was well-received at Cannes with a 10-minute standing ovation. There’s also Macbeth, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, which is debuting December 4 before going to Amazon Prime shortly after its theatrical run in conjunction with a Radius-TWC deal.
In recent months, TWC pushed back-to-back movies that were supposed to be released in August — Underdogs and Shanghai — also just days before they were both set to bow in theaters.
One of TWC’s best bets for a hit this year lies in director Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, which doesn’t come until year’s end in a limited run for Oscar qualification before pushing out wide in January to give it some Oscar buzz.