Sandra P. Angulo
September 11, 1998 AT 04:00 AM EDT

After an exhaustive 16-month shoot that kept Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman virtual hostages in London, Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” will finally make it to theaters July 16, 1999. Mark your calendar: “Eyes Wide Shut,” about married shrinks who become sexually obsessed with two of their patients, is Warner Bros.’ second major film to open in that prime month, hitting theaters just after “Wild, Wild West” puts Will Smith on the marquee for a third consecutive Fourth of July weekend (“Men In Black” and “Independence Day” are Smith’s others).

Kubrick, the perfectionist auteur who created cinematic history with “Dr. Strangelove,” “A Clockwork Orange,” and “2001: A Space Odyssey,” surrounded his never-ending production with secrecy, but the erotic thriller’s major problems went public anyway. Not only was the original filming gruelingly long — from November 4, 1996 to January 31, 1998 — but in April, Kubrick decided he would reshoot several major scenes, which forced him to recast Jennifer Jason Leigh, who was busy on another project, with Swedish actress Marie Richardson. Now that the film is finally in post-production, the big question remaining is whether Kubrick?whose last film, “Full Metal Jacket,” came out ten years ago?can return to his former paths of box office glory.

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