Suggesting a sign of confidence from distributor Lionsgate, the upcoming Ryan Gosling–Emma Stone romantic musical La La Land has shifting its release date. The film, director Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning Whiplash, was previously set to open on July 15th but will open in December instead. The awards-friendly shift in release dates makes a case that Lionsgate may be seeking to plan an Oscar campaign around the film.
The musical comedy/drama re-teams Gosling and Stone, who previously co-starred in the romantic comedy Crazy Stupid Love and the thriller Gangster Squad, as a jazz pianist and an aspiring actress who fall for one another in the City of Angels. The musically inclined Chazelle has centered his previous two films in the jazz world- his 2009 debut indie Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench and, of course, 2014’s Whiplash, which was nominated for Best Picture and picked up three Oscars last year (including one for J.K. Simmons‘ commanding performance).
La La Land also stars Simmons, Finn Whitrock (The Big Short), Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married) and Oscar winner John Legend (who co-wrote the song “Glory” for the 2014 feature Selma). Originally the film was set to star Whiplash‘s Miles Teller and Emma Watson.
La La Land is now set to open in limited release on December 2nd, before expanding nationwide on December 16th. Lionsgate must have plenty of faith of the film since now the film will be pitted against behemoth Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as well as Will Smith’s upcoming drama Collateral Beauty.