Ever since 2016’s The Accountant, people have been waiting for director Gavin O’Connor and actor Ben Affleck to re-team for another run at the big screen. While The Way Back isn’t exactly the sequel that people were expecting to that previous film, it’s something that’s heavier in reality, as Affleck’s new protagonist wrestles with alcohol problems as he tries to reconnect with the sport that he loves: basketball.
We now have our first trailer for The Way Back, and you can watch it below:
The Way Back almost looks like it’s a sort of Disney sports drama, from the other side of the equation. Instead of focusing on the troubled kids that Affleck’s Jack Cunningham finds himself recruited to coach into better shape, the movie is squarely looking at Jack’s fall from grace and his road back to being a well-adjusted person.
The film also looks like a heavier drama than most other sports movies, as the glimpses we get into the troubled life of Ben Affleck’s character in The Way Back’s theatrical trailer are quite troubling. His alcoholism cost him his family, and has put him into more than a couple harrowing situations, just in this short look alone. If anything, the whole movie looks like it’ll be something that reaches deep into the heart of Affleck’s problems on screen, which in their own way reflect the personal struggles that the actor has openly discussed in his off screen life.
Originally meant to be released this past October, The Way Back was moved to next year, and that choice looks to be a solid one for this film’s box office prospects. With most of the competition on that date looking to be family fare, with Pixar’s Onward being the big fish to swim against.
However, Warner Bros may have landed themselves a clear counter-programming win, as audience members who may not be all in on animation, or may be big fans of basketball and stories of redemption, will have something to go see when the time comes. Either way you look at it, The Way Back has a better chance of being seen against next year’s competition than it did against the likes of Joker and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
With its story of getting back to who you were through the love of a game, The Way Back looks just like one of those inspirational sports stories you’d expect from a Disney sports drama. The big difference is, this film looks like it has a deeper pit for our hero to climb out of, but also a bigger, more complex heart to get him through that journey.
The Way Back heads to theaters on March 6, 2020; and if you’re looking for a clearer picture of what’s headed our way in the next year, head over to our 2020 release schedule to see what’s coming to a theater near you.