DreamWorks and Disney have announced that Derek Cianfrance’s The Light Between Oceans will be released wide on September 2. This is film that the town has been wondering about for some time. Some believed that the film was to be released last year, but stars Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander had films in the awards season race — with Steve Jobs and The Danish Girl, respectively. Production for The Light Between Oceans started back in September 2014 in New Zealand and Australia. However, count on The Light Between Oceans to play into the 2016-17 Oscar season race.
Based on author M.L. Stedman’s debut novel and international bestseller, The Light Between Oceans is about a lighthouse keeper and his wife who find a boat washed ashore on their remote Australian island with a dead man and a baby girl inside. They choose to bury the body and raise the child as their own, with devastating consequences. In September 2013, Dreamworks tapped Cianfrance, confident that he could deliver the tome’s epic sweep and emotional intensity. Harry Potter and Gravity vet David Heyman is producing the movie through his Heyday Films with Jeffrey Clifford. Rosie Allen shepherded the project to Heyday and is executive producing. Participant Media is also a producer.
The Light Between Oceans marks the last of two titles that DreamWorks will have via the Disney distribution pipeline. The other one is Steven Spielberg’s The BFG on July 1.
During Labor Day weekend, The Light Between Oceans will go up against Sony’s horror film Patient Zero, Broad Green’s Bryan Cranston crime drama The Infiltrator and Relativity’s Colin Farrell-Abbie Cornish thriller Solace. Taking an awards contender out during Labor Day weekend or early September isn’t considered too early in the season. Focus Features launched The Constant Gardener during Labor Day weekend 2005, ultimately landing four Oscar noms including a Best Supporting Actress win for Rachel Weisz, who also stars in The Light Between Oceans.