Oscar Bait: Clint Eastwood's 'Jersey Boys' and Ben Affleck's 'Live By Night' get release dates
It's never too early to look at future awards season players. Today, Warner Bros. slotted two potential players with new release dates.
The big screen version of the hit Tony Award-winning musical "Jersey Boys" will arrive in theaters on June 20, 2014. Clint Eastwood is directing the movie, which focuses on the rise and fall of the 1960s singing group "The Four Seasons." The longtime Oscar player is mostly using Broadway veterans -- including members of the original Broadway cast -- to play the key roles of Frankie Valli, Bob Guadio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. The only recognizable face right now will be Christopher Walken as mobster Angelo DeCarlo. It's probably a longshot in the Best Picture race, but Golden Globes 2015? Might want to save a table for Eastwood and his crew.
More intriguing is Ben Affleck's adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel "Live By Night," which WB has set for a Christmas, 2015 release. Affleck already adapted Lehane's drama "Gone Baby Gone," Eastwood had huge success bringing "Mystic River" to the big screen and Martin Scorsese enjoyed one of his biggest hits with "Shutter Island." "Night" is a period piece set in 1926 introducing outlaw/criminal Joe Coughlin (a role Affleck will play). It finds Lehane leaving his normal comforts of Boston to venture to the hot, humid and dangerous world of Prohibition South Florida. It's old-school film noir in many ways and it will be interesting to see what direction Affleck takes it in. It will also be a decidedly different Affleck from the Caped Crusader he'll be playing in "Batman vs. Superman" the summer before. Is it really an awards movie or a holiday blockbuster? Warner Bros. probably won't have a clue until at least a year from now and this is a safe date to land on in the meantime.
Affleck will next be seen in David Fincher's "Gone Girl" alongside Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry. That thriller will play the awards season game in the fall of 2014.