Ben Affleck's 'Argo' Release Moves Into Heart of Awards Season

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. relocates "Argo" from Sept. 14 to Oct. 12; the spot was previously occupied by the Ryan Gosling-Emma Stone-Sean Penn action pic "Gangster Squad," which will get a new fall date.

Ben Affleck's Argo, about the rescue of six U.S. diplomats during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis through a clever ruse, is shaping up to be one of the fall season's first studio awards hopefuls.

Warner Bros. is so keen on the film after strong test screenings that it is moving Argo's release from Sept. 14 to Oct. 12, positioning it closer to the heart of awards season.

Argo, which Affleck directed and stars in, now occupies the date held by another high-profile Warners title, The Gangster Squad. Warners has moved the actioner off of that weekend and will release it between September and December (it could get Argo's original Sept. 14 date).

Directed by Ruben Fleischer, Gangster Squad also has awards potential, though it is more commercial in scope. Both it and Argo could easily show up at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, a popular launching pad for awards titles and movies opening soon after the festival.

Gangster Squad traces the Los Angeles Police Department's battle to keep East Coast gangsters out of the city during the 1940s and '50s.

Produced by Affleck, George Clooney and Grant Heslov, Argo is Affleck's follow-up to The Town and Gone Baby Gone, which likewise opened in the fall. Argo also stars Bryan Cranston, Clea DuVall, John Goodman and Kyle Chandler.

Argo details how the Canadian and U.S. governments teamed to rescue six diplomats at their embassy in Tehran by convincing the Iranian government that the group was only in the country to scout for a film. Chris Terrio wrote the script based on a 2007 article in Wired.