Three weeks ahead of its planned theatrical bow, The Weinstein Company is pushing back the release date of their upcoming biopic The Founder starring Michael Keaton. The film, directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), initially was set to open on August 5th and instead will be given a one-week Oscar-qualifying run on December 16th; the movie will open wide on January 20, 2017, in hopes to capitalize on potential awards attention. Originally, the movie was going to open over Thanksgiving so this marks the third release date shift for the title.
In the film, Keaton portrays Ray Kroc, an Illinois salesman who built up the McDonalds fast food empire and in the process booted out original owners Mac and Dick McDonald. Supporting Keaton is a stellar ensemble cast that includes Laura Dern (Wild), Patrick Wilson (Little Children), Linda Cardellini (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Nick Offerman (The Kings of Summer), John Carroll Lynch (Zodiac) and B.J. Novak (Saving Mr. Banks).
Deadline reports that early test audiences have embraced the film and given The Weinstein Company potential faith in the film’s awards chances. Keaton has certainly been on quite a roll recently, having starred in the last two Best Picture Oscar winners – Spotlight and Birdman – and having received an Oscar nomination and Golden Globe award for the latter. We shall find out soon enough.