The programmers for the 2013 AFI Film Festival were certainly surprised by the announcement last week that Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, which was to have its world premiere at the Hollywood-based festival this November, would be pushed to next year. This morning comes word that they have found a replacement, announcing the festival will unveil Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace. The film, which stars Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Zoe Saldana, is set to open in theaters on December 6th and will have its world premiere at this years AFI Film Festival (November 7-14). It was previously announced that Cooper’s film, his follow-up to his Oscar-winning 2009 independent hit Crazy Heart, would also play in competition at the Rome Film Festival. The crime drama features Bale and Affleck as two brothers who are driven to desperate measures when one of them mysteriously disappears.
AFI has also added two other films to be presented as Centerpiece Galas for the upcoming 2013 festival. Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, which had its world premiere at Cannes this May – where it won Bruce Dern the Best Actor prize – will be played, as will Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The former, a black and white father-son road trip film (the first film that Payne has directed which he had not part in the screenplay), also stars Saturday Night Live alum Will Forte and is set arrive in theaters November 15th. Nebraska recently earned praise at the Telluride Film Festival and will play at the ongoing New York Film Festival. AFI has also announced that to accompany the screening of Nebraska, they will be holding a special tribute to star Dern, who is being touted as a Oscar favorite for his leading performance.
AFI will also screen Ben Stiller’s eagerly awaited The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which will have its world premiere at the New York Film Festival. Stiller directed, produced and stars in this remake of the classic Danny Kaye film about an office drone who seeks adventure. Sean Penn, Shirley MacLaine and Kristen Wiig co-star. AFI Conservatory alumnus Stuart Cornfeld is one of the producers of the film. The 2013 AFI Film Festival runs from November 7-14 in Hollywood. It was previously announced that John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks, which tells the behind the scenes story of how Walt Disney made the classic Mary Poppins, would open the festival and the Coen Brother’s Inside Llewyn Davis will close it out.
Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI Film Festival Director stated, “Our Centerpiece Galas reflect the diverse cinematic experience at AFI FEST, from our smaller independent films to larger studio releases. We are thrilled to have the World Premiere of Out of the Furnace; to honor the legendary Bruce Dern for his outstanding career and his brilliant performance in Nebraska; and to take the audience on a journey with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Commenting on the loss of Foxcatcher to the 2014 calendar year, Lyanga added, “AFI will be proud to celebrate Foxcatcher when Bennett Miller and his talented team are ready to share it with the world.”