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Snowden was once pegged as an Oscar contender for 2016's awards, but alas, the film was pushed to a May 13th release date, in order to open at the Cannes Film Festival. However, a new twist of fate has pushed the film back on the golden path, as Oliver Stone's latest has now been scheduled to open this September.
What's the reason for the new release date shake up? Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Open Road Studios is looking to push Snowden into the awards season limelight with a date that give it some festival friendly attention. Curiously enough, Open Road was also behind his year's Spotlight, so that just further explains why the Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring film was pulled from last year's awards chase.
With studios spending a limited amount of money on their award pushes for each year, most indie studios will focus on one big front-runner when it comes to their Best Picture races. So obviously, Spotlight was this year's golden goose for Open Road, which meant Snowden had to take a back seat. Fortunately for them, the story of Edward Snowden's whistleblowing and eventual disappearance off the grid is still as fresh as ever. More importantly, Snowden has a trump card in its deck, and that card is naturally its director, Oliver Stone.
9 times out of 10, when Oliver Stone makes a film about a politically incendiary subject, it's a spot of controversy from all angles. Even when he makes a fictional narrative, Stone finds the right buttons and pushes them, making audiences talk. With films like JFK and Natural Born Killers, he's managed to be an agent provocateur, and just looking back on the original teaser trailer for Snowden, you can tell that he's looking to stir the pot again with this latest film. Take a look back for yourself, as we've included the trailer below.
With Spotlight looking like a front-runner for the Best Picture trophy this year, it looks like Open Road will more than likely wait to see how that film does before deciding an Oscar strategy for Snowden. Of course, no matter what the result is, the studio brass will almost definitely be increasing their awards season spending this year. So really, the only question left is how they'll target voters this time around. Not to mention, 2016 is an election year, which means that Snowden will be shaking things up for voters and candidates alike during this year's presidential election. So depending on who eventually runs for and wins the position of Commander in Chief, the Academy might look to somehow honor Oliver Stone's film, in order to send a powerful political message to the world.
Snowden seeks the truth in theaters on September 16th.