It looks like The Road might be getting a little crowded. According to Nikki Finke over at Deadline Hollywood (and corroborated by Dave Karger at Entertainment Weekly), Paramount has moved the Robert Downey Jr.-Jamie Foxx prestige film The Soloist out of its November 21st release date and pushed it all the way back to March 13th, 2009. Additionally, Ed Zwick’s Defiance, which had its kick-ass trailer released just a week ago, will be moved from a wide release December 12th to a short Oscar qualifying run on December 31st before opening in full on January 16th, 2009. Phew! Got all that? We’ll give you a minute to update your iCal.
OK! Putting aside Defiance, which will still be heard from this awards season, this is slightly distressing news for The Soloist. Usually when a film gets pushed back from a high profile November release date to the spring, it’s because something is wrong with the movie. We’ve been seeing ads for The Soloist since September… there are posters labeled "November 2008" and everything! Still, Paramount insists Joe Wright’s movie is fine, and the change is happening because of financial reasons and nothing else. For starters, it’ll be easier for the studio to mount a marketing campaign with the added time, especially since they’ll be going full-bore on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Revolutionary Road at the end of the year. Also, The Soloist was set to open against Twilight and no doubt get bowled over by that film’s massive box office. We sure hope those are the reasons! Count us among the people who thought The Soloist, with all its schmaltz and contrivance, looked great.
On the plus side, with heavyweights like Jamie Foxx, Viggo Mortensen and Robert Downey Jr. and director Joe Wright moving out of contention, it’s appearing more and more likely that the Oscars will be totally clown car. We don’t know about you, but we’re already looking forward to seeing the Best Supporting Actor race come down to Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight and Mr. Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder. Why so serious, dude playing the dude disguised as another dude?