Harvey Weinstein Sets Awards Sights on 'Lion,' Moves 'The Founder' to Prime Summer Date

Rooney Mara at Chanel Oscar Dinner - H 2016
BFA/Courtesy of Chanel

Rooney Mara at Chanel Oscar Dinner - H 2016

'Lion' stars Rooney Mara — who is fresh off her Oscar nomination for 'Carol' — Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman; Michael Keaton plays McDonald's mogul Ray Kroc in 'The Founder.'

The Oscars are barely over and Harvey Weinstein is already zeroing in on next awards season.

On Tuesday, The Weinstein Co. announced it is moving up the release of The Founder, starring Michael Keaton, to Aug. 5, which can be a lucrative corridor for adult dramas.

The Founder had been set to launch on Nov. 25, which is considered one of the most coveted dates in terms in awards campaigning. Instead, TWC has decided to open Lion on that date.

"I am determined to show that adult fare and award-caliber movies should be able to open any time of year and be successful. Last season we saw a crowded fall where some terrific films struggled to find an audience. This year I want to spread out our slate of films and give them the best opportunity to succeed," Harvey Weinstein said in a statement.

Adapted from the non-fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, Lion tells the story of a five-year-old Indian boy who, after a wrong train takes him thousands of miles away from home and family, survives many challenges before being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only the scantest of clues, he learns of a new technology called Google Earth, and sets out to find his lost family.

Dev Patel, Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman star in Lion, which is produced by The King's Speech duo Iain Canning and Emile Sherman alongside Angie Fielder. Garth Davis directs. Weinstein also released King's Speech, while Lion reteams TWC with Mara after Carol, which earned her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.

Lion will get a platform release, while The Founder will open nationwide.

John Lee Hancock directs The Founder, starring Keaton as McDonald's impresario Ray Kroc. Keaton, who starred in this year's best-picture winner Spotlight and was nominated two years ago for his turn in Birdman, hopes to find himself back in the best actor Oscar race with the biopic about the fast-food mogul.

Weinstein said The Founder is one of "most controversial films" he's been associated with.