The 2015 awards season has found its first major causality. Oliver Stone’s Snowden, a biographical drama centering on Edward Snowden, has been pulled from 2015. The film had originally been pegged for release on Christmas Day and had been foreshadowed as a possible awards contender. Instead, Open Road Films will likely open the film sometime in 2016.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50) stars as Snowden, the ex-CIA employee who leaked thousands of classified documents to the press. The story was previously told in Laura Poitras’ 2014 documentary Citizenfour, which won the Academy Award this past year. The film, written by Stone and Kieran Fitzgerald (The Homesman), was based on Luke Harding’s book The Snowden Files as well as Anatoly Kucherena’s book Time of the Octopus. The film co-stars Shailene Woodley (The Fault in Our Stars), Scott Eastwood (Fury), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), Keith Stanfield (Short Term 12) and Oscar winners Nicolas Cage (Joe) and Melissa Leo (The Fighter).
The reason behind the scheduling move may be dependent on the status of the film itself. Though Open Road has not commented officially, the film may not yet be completed in time for its original Christmas Day launch. While Snowden‘s scheduling move frees up the typically very busy Christmas release schedule, there’s still of plenty of movies expected to open that day including awards hopefuls Joy (starring Jennifer Lawrence), Concussion (starring Will Smith), Quentin Tarantino’s The Hopeful Eight and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s The Revenant.
Gordon may still be a part of the 2015 awards conversation, as he headlines Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk, set to open the upcoming New York Film Festival. The actor will also co-star in the comedy The Night Before opening November 25th.