Classified document leaker Edward Snowden waited for just the right moment to release thousands of damning National Security Agency files to the public in June 2013. It turns out that the feature film about him, directed by Oliver Stone and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is also thinking carefully about when to go public. Distributor Open Road Films has decided to bump Snowden from its planned Dec. 25 release date to sometime in 2016.
The move makes Snowden the first major holiday release to jump from the Christmas frame onto next year. Open Road had no comment on the change, but sources tell EW that the film would not have been completely finished in time to meet the increasingly moved-up deadlines for awards consideration. Mid-November is when DVD screeners of movies should be in the mail for the Screen Actors Guild Awards members, who receive their nominating ballots on November 18 — more than six weeks before the year is done.
Stone has not had a movie in the awards conversation for 20 years, since 1995’s Nixon, though Snowden, leaping off the Best Documentary Oscar win by Citizenfour earlier this year, might have been a game changer. In addition to Gordon-Levitt the film also features key supporting roles from Oscar-winners Nicolas Cage (as a former U.S. intelligence official) and Melissa Leo (as Citizenfour filmmaker Laura Poitras).
As it stands now, the stockings are still full of Christmas Day movie presents, with seven major releases scheduled, including Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, football drama Concussion, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant, heist remake Point Break, and Joy starring Jennifer Lawrence.
Check out a short teaser for Snowden, which tellingly reveals no footage from the film, below:
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