The last decade was much kinder to Woody Allen than the end of the 90s were and now it appears he'll be getting off on a solid footing as the next decade begins.  Sony Pictures Classics announced today that it has acquired North American rights to the legendary filmmaker's latest film, "You Meet A Tall Dark Stranger," for a fall 2010 release.

As always with Allen flicks, plot details are being kept on the down low, but the ensemble dramedy features an intriguing cast including Josh Brolin, Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins, "Slumdog Millionaire's" Freida Pinto and Antonio "don't call it a comeback" Banderas.  The picture continues Allen's new love affair with London and was financed by the same international backers who brought "Vicky Christina Barcelona" to the screen. 

Allen's last film, "Whatever Works", wasn't an Oscar player at all, but that was somewhat expected when it hit theaters in June without any hint of playing the Cannes Film Festival only a month prior.  Still, "Works," which SPC released, made a profitable $5.3 million in the U.S.  Overseas, like most of Allen's films, the results were even better with another $25 million in the books (thank you France, Spain and Italy).

"Barcenlona" was one of Allen's biggest hits in years raking in over $96 million worldwide.  The picture also awarded Penelope Cruz a Best Supporting Actress Oscar and might have made the list for Best Picture if the new ten nominee rule had been in effect.  That's what makes "Stranger's" fall release date so intriguing. 



SPC's longtime heads Michael Barker and Tom Bernard must think they have either a buzzworthy performance or the picture itself is a contender if the ten nominee system stays (as is expected).  More curious is whether Allen's latest will get a sneak peek during the Venice, Telluride or Toronto Film Festivals.  Or, more appropriately, a slot at the New York Film Festival a few weeks later.

And yes, fasten your seat belts.  We're already contemplating Oscar 2011