'The Road' runs off 2008 Oscar racetrack

Viggo Mortensen starrer likely to open early 2009

When it comes to the 2008 Oscars, this could be the end of "The Road."

Dimenson's Viggo Mortensen-starrer, which earlier this week had been pushed from November to December, now looks like it will open in 2009. While a new date has not been set, the movie will probably bow in either February or March.

The Weinstein Company declined to comment on any postponement. But John Hillcoat's film about a man (Mortensen) and his son wandering a post-apocalyptic U.S. is not thought ready in time for a 2008 release, and those involved with the film have decided that the movie will benefit from both more post-production time and a a less crowded theatrical calendar.

For the Weinstein Company, the move means that awards efforts will be concentrated on Stephen Daldry's "The Reader" and Woody Allen's "Vicky Christina Barcelona."

Based on a Cormac McCarthy novel and produced by 2929 Productions and Nick Wechsler Prods, "The Road" is said to straddle the line between a commercial and prestige release, a fact that first had TWC scheduling it for the fall but also allows the flexibility of a first-quarter release.

The move further clears out an Oscar calendar that just a week ago looked a lot more crowded. Paramount has pushed back Joe Wright's feel-good drama "The Soloist" to March, where execs are hoping the movie will benefit from more box-office breathing room.