Once seemingly primed for a 2015 awards run, Fox Searchlight has dated Demolition for an early 2016 theatrical release. The drama stars Oscar nominated actors Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain) and Naomi Watts (The Impossible) and was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club). Last year, Fox Searchlight distributed Wild, Vallée’s 2014 film which earned actresses Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern Oscar nominations. Searchlight picked up Demolition last October while the film was in production.
Demolition centers around an investment banker named Davis (Gyllenhaal) attempting to rebuild his life after the tragic death of his wife. After penning a complaint letter to a vending machine company, Davis crosses paths with a customer service representative named Karen (Watts) with baggage of her own. The duo start to form a bond, especially with Karen’s odd-duck son Chris (newcomer Judah Lewis). Oscar winner Chris Cooper (Adaptation.) co-stars. Bryan Sipe’s original screenplay was included on the 2007 Black List of the best un-produced screenplays in Hollywood.
Whether fairly or not considering no official screenings have taken place, Demolition being removed from the 2015 calendar year marks the first causality of the upcoming awards season. There’s no sense that quality or further tinkering on the film came into play with Fox Searchlight’s decision to release next year. It may be question of priority– Searchlight (the reigning champ two years in row on terms of Best Picture Oscar winners as the distributor of 2013’s 12 Years a Slave and 2014’s Birdman) has a slew of potential awards films on arrival including the Sundance hit Brooklyn (releasing in early November) and the Cannes hit Youth (opening in December) or something else altogether.
Gyllenhaal, at any rate, will have a busy 2015. The actor, who earned rave reviews as well as Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for his role in last years’ thriller Nightcrawler, next appears in the boxing drama Southpaw. That film, directed by Training Day‘s Antoine Fuqua is already earning awards buzz and is due in theaters next week. He is also set to appear in the thriller Everest, which was recently announced as the opening night film of the 2015 Venice Film Festival. Watts, who last appeared in the indie hit While We’re Young and franchise entry Insurgent, will appear in the family drama Three Generations, another film that may have an awards run at the end of the year.
Demolition will hit theaters on April 8, 2016.