Ben Affleck's 'Live by Night' Enters Oscar Race With December Release

Live by Night_Trailer_Still - H 2016
Screengrab/Warner Bros. Pictures

Live by Night_Trailer_Still - H 2016

Affleck directs and stars in the period gangster pic.

Ben Affleck's latest directorial outing, Live by Night, is jumping into the Oscar race.

Warner Bros. announced Tuesday that the film, an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel, will hit select theaters on Christmas Day before opening wide on Jan. 13.

Affleck directed and co-produced the crime drama, in addition to starring opposite Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana and Chris Cooper.

Warners decided to move up the movie's release after seeing an early cut of the film, insiders say.

In the period pic, set in the first two decades of the 20th century, Affleck stars as the son of a Boston police captain who moves to Florida and becomes an infamous gangster.

Live by Night will face no shortage of competition. The Christmas corridor is always crowded, and this year is no exception between more commercial fare and Oscar offerings. Other titles launching in limited runs over the holiday frame include Patriots Day (Dec. 21) and two films likewise bowing on Christmas Day, 20th Century Woman and Toni Erdmann.

Films debuting nationwide on Dec. 25 include Fences, Gold and Why Him?

Originally, Live by Night was set to open sometime in December, but the film's release was pushed back to Jan. 13, while The Accountant, directed by Gavin O'Connor and also starring Affleck, was moved up from January and is set to bow Friday.