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Open Road Films is pushing back the release of Oliver Stone’s Snowden from May 13 to Sept. 16, the beginning of awards season.
The biopic stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as controversial NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, while Shailene Woodley plays Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsay Mills.
It’s the third time Snowden has altered course; it was originally set to open Dec. 25, 2015, in time for consideration this awards season. Open Road — home of Oscar contender Spotlight — made the decision in October to move the biopic to May 13, sparking buzz that the film would make its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, a favorite stopover for Stone.
In its new date of Sept. 16, Snowden will be able to take advantage of fall film festivals. It also will avoid having to compete with studio summer blockbusters. Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight, which is up for six Academy Awards including best picture, has grossed nearly $38 million to date since its release in November, a strong showing.
Stone directed Snowden from a script he wrote with Kieran Fitzgerald. It’s the first narrative feature to tackle the polarizing figure who is considered a hero by some and a traitor by others. Last year, the Snowden documentary Citizenfour won the Oscar for best documentary.
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