We've been eyeing Matthew McConaughey's The Dallas Buyer's Club for ages as yet another potential breakthrough role for him, and the one that might finally earn him the Oscar nomination he was so cruelly robbed of for his work in Magic Mike. It was a guarantee that a studio would want to put their weight behind the independently produced Dallas, and now that studio has finally stepped up. The Los Angeles Times reports that Focus Features is about to close a deal to distribute the film, with plans to release it both domestically and internationaly before the end of the year.

Universal Pictures, which owns Focus, had a first-look option on the feature when it was in development there, but in a sign of the times, Universal let go to the rights-- yet another example of studios being completely terrified to make films aimed at grown-ups. As McConaughey himself said when he boarded the project, "It's not exactly the movie that studios are throwing money at these days." But while McConaughey was still struggling to get past his lame rom-com reputation when he backed the project in 2011, he's now on a serious winning streak-- and Universal, cowardly as it is, ought to be lucky to pick up the project they abandoned just a few years ago.

With an upcoming role in Jeff Nichols' festival hit Mud and the lead in Christopher Nolan's mysterious Interstellar, Matthew McConaughey is riding as high as ever. Will that all come with an Oscar nomination for his role in Dallas, as a man stricken with AIDS who orchestrates a ring for smuggling HIV-treatment drugs from Mexico? It'd be pretty foolish to bet against him.

(Matthew McConaughey image via Featureflash / Shutterstock.com)

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