In a surprising and possibly risky move, Summit Entertainment has pushed the limited release date for the Mel Gibson dark comedy The Beaver from March 23 to May 6, with an expansion on May 20. That puts the film up against potential summer blockbusters Thor and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, but the studio appears confident that good buzz from its March 16 premiere at the SXSW Film Festival will help establish the project as smart counterprogramming. The press availability of director-costar Jodie Foster — who is spending the spring shooting the Roman Polanski-helmed adaptation of the play God of Carnage in Europe — was also apparently a factor in the release date swap. Gibson, meanwhile, remains embroiled in domestic violence and extortion cases involving his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva. It is unclear if those cases will be fully resolved by May, but if they are, that may also at least partly help clear the dark cloud of scandal that has haunted the film since last summer.

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