Tom Hardy’s Legend, in which he plays gangster twin brothers Ronnie and Reggie Kray, screened at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month. Unfortunately, the reviews weren’t as glowing as a film featuring two Tom Hardys sounds, but those of us in the U.S. are going to have to wait even longer to assess the situation for ourselves.
Universal Pictures announced that Legend, which was originally scheduled for release on October 2, will now open more than a month later. A limited release in New York and Los Angeles will commence on November 20 to kickstart the Thanksgiving weekend, and the film will then go wide on November 25.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, this move doesn’t have to do with the critical reception from TIFF, even though this move’s close proximity to it may seem like an odd coincidence. Instead, the trade notes that the October 2 slot would have seen Legend go directly up against The Martian, Ridley Scott’s space film starring Matt Damon — a film that earned glowing recommendations from the press at TIFF. In addition, The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the daredevil who walked between the Twin Towers on a wire, opens in limited a week earlier and goes wide a week after the October 2 weekend. Both these films are vying for similar audiences.
Looking ahead to November, Legend has a better opportunity to maximize ticket sales — even though it is now premiering alongside the final installment of the Hunger Games franchise, Mockingjay, Part 2. Other films opening that weekend are Secret in Their Eyes, a dramatic film that boasts an emotionally wrenching performance from Julia Roberts; and Spotlight, a film some critics are already called a Best Picture frontrunner at the Oscars. When Legend opens wide, it will have to contend with the latest raunchy comedy starring Seth Rogen, The Night Before; Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy’s Frankenstein movie; Michael B. Jordan’s Rocky spinoff, Creed; and the long-delayed Pixar film The Good Dinosaur.
Brian Helgeland, who won an Oscar for his screenplay work on L.A. Confidential, directs Tom Hardy in Legend. The film tells of Ronnie and Reggie Kray, twin brothers who came to rule the London crime scene in the 1960s. Hardy, playing both roles, is joined by Emily Browning (Pompeii), Paul Bettany (Avengers: Age of Ultron), David Thewlis (the Harry Potter films), Christopher Eccleston (Thor: The Dark World), Chazz Palminteri (A Bronx Tale), Tara Fitzgerald (Exodus: Gods and Kings), and Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service).
Despite this intriguing cast, the film was denounced for its poor character development, including Browning's and the Ronnie half of Hardy's performance. While most critics came into the movie already appreciating the premise, it proved to be a bore of a movie, according to the consensus. Judge for yourself in November.