When production began in New York last August, The Woman in the Window seemed like that rarest of Hollywood properties — a grown-up’s movie with both box office potential and an awards pedigree.
Based on a best-selling 2018 novel by A.J. Finn and starring six-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams as an agoraphobic child psychologist who witnesses a crime, the Fox 2000 thriller had been set to open on Oct. 4, a prime date for awards movies and commercial adult fare such as Gone Girl.
Now Disney — which acquired the Fox film empire in March — will move Woman in the Window out of 2019 and retool the pic, including reshoots, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The looming date change comes as the Burbank studio is digesting Fox’s slate, troubleshooting on the films it inherited and setting a fall awards strategy.
A twisty mystery with a third-act reveal and large chunks set inside the mind of Adams’ depressed character, Woman in the Window has proven a challenging adaptation for director Joe Wright and producer Scott Rudin. Multiple sources tell THR the thriller, which also stars Gary Oldman and Julianne Moore and which Tracy Letts adapted for the screen, confused early test audiences.
Wright plans to shoot five days of pickup shots next month, after Adams finishes making Hillbilly Elegy, a Ron Howard movie for Netflix.
“We’re dealing with a complex novel,” says Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler, who is departing the studio imminently but will remain as a consultant on the film for Disney until Woman in the Window’s release. “We tested the movie really early for that very reason. We wanted to make it better, and we’ve had Disney’s full support in doing that.”
At Fox 2000, The Woman in the Window had a home with a history of making character-driven literary adaptations that yield major box office results, a la Hidden Figures, Life of Pi and The Devil Wears Prada. As the division’s last film before Disney shutters it, the movie is now something of an orphan. (Disney will release Fox 2000’s penultimate film, The Art of Racing in the Rain, on Aug. 9.)
Disney has awards-friendly fall 2019 release dates for other projects it acquired in the Fox deal, including James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari (Nov. 19), Fox Searchlight’s Taika Waititi satire Jojo Rabbit (Oct. 18), and Searchlight's Terrence Malick drama A Hidden Life (Dec. 13).
Pamela McClintock contributed to this report.