The Weinstein Company hasn’t landed a Best Picture Academy Award winner since 2011’s The Artist – remember that? – but it seems 2017 will be the year they make a big push after falling way below their usual standards over the past half decade.
Their sole Best Picture nomination a few weeks ago was Garth Davis‘ Lion, and the studio will release Davis’ follow up, Mary Magdalene, in a limited release on Friday, November 24 before expanding to a wide release in December.
The film stars Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix and Chiwetel Ejiofor in a biblical story revolving around the title character, and surely has the potential to be a frontrunner next year.
The studio has also lined up a late December release for The Current War, a drama revolving around the battle for the electricity market in the late 1880s, which will star Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Katherine Waterston, Nicholas Hoult, and will be directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Me And Earl And The Dying Girl).
That certainly sounds a lot like safe, mild entertainment that netted The Imitation Game a Best Picture nod a few years ago, so it’s no surprise The Weinstein Company is backing that horse.
And finally, the directorial debut of Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell Or High Water), Wind River, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner, is set to hit cinemas in limited capacity in August before expanding, much like Hell Or High Water found success last year.
The film follows an Alaskan tracker who helps an FBI agent hunt for a killer, and has already received solid reviews after premiering at Sundance.
Will these films help The Weinstein Company get back to the apex of movie producing? Perhaps, but equally high expectations were held for The Founder and Gold this past year, before their release dates were altered and the films practically pushed aside once the quality wasn’t there. Plus, with new films likely arriving from Paul Thomas Anderson, Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg, the stakes have risen.