We hate to say it, but with certain Hollywood gossip mongers otherwise indisposed at the moment… toldja? A few days ago, we were discussing potential dark horses for the Oscar race, and one of the films we particularly highlighted was “The Gambler,” Rupert Wyatt‘s remake of James Toback‘s 1974 James Caan vehicle about a college professor with the titular addiction. Penned by Academy Award-winning “The Departed” scribe William Monahan, it now stars Mark Wahlberg, Brie Larson, Jessica Lange and John Goodman.
The film was, heretofore, absent from the festival circuit and without a release date, but Paramount has just made their intentions known, announcing via Variety that the film will compete in the awards season this year, opening in limited release on December 19th, before expanding wider on New Year’s Day, a similar pattern to the one that Wahlberg’s “Lone Survivor” took last year. That film didn’t ultimately do much in terms of the Oscar race, but with the prestige behind the project (it’s a one-time Scorsese project), and a number of meaty acting possibilities, it certainly shouldn’t be counted out.
It should be noted, as we did the other day, that Paramount has a stacked slate this year: the studio are also expecting big things from Christopher Nolan‘s “Interstellar” and Ava DuVernay‘s “Selma“—does this mean that they’re feeling shaky about one of those? Or are they planning to push all three as hard as possible? We’ll find out in the months to come.
Meanwhile, the studio also made some bold plans in the tentpole world. Their ludicrously-named continuation/reboot of the “Terminator” franchise, “Terminator: Genisys,” doesn’t hit until July 1st next year, but the studio has already set release dates for not one but two sequels, the first due on May 19th, 2017, the second only a year later, on June 19th, 2018. They’re obviously not shouting about this, but the main reason is that James Cameron will reclaim the rights to the series in 2019, so they clearly plan to milk what they have while they still have it.
“Thor: The Dark World” helmer Alan Taylor is directing the first film, but there’s no word on who’ll handle the second two (which, we guess, might be filmed back to back, a la the second two “Pirates” movies). “Genisys” stars Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor, Jason Clarke as John Connor, Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, plus Matt Smith, Dayo Okeniyi, Lee Byung-hun, J.K. Simmons and, returning to the series that made his name, Arnold Schwarzenegger, so presumably whoever survives the first film will be back for more. Unless, of course, it tanks next summer…