Allen hasn’t had a movie premiere in the thick of awards season since DreamWorks opened “Match Point” in December 2005. Allen’s four previous films all opened in July, including the Oscar-winning “Blue Jasmine.” Award-winners “Midnight in Paris” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” opened in May and August, respectively.
“Wonder Wheel” stars Kate Winlset, Justin Timberlake, Juno Temple and Jim Belushi. Amazon has not released an official synopsis, but the movie is set around Cony Island in the 1950s. Kate Winslet was previously attached to star in “Match Point” but dropped out because of family issues, which makes “Wonder Wheel” her first collaboration with Allen. The movie is Allen’s second feature under Amazon Studios. He also made the six-episode television series “Crisis in Six Scenes” for Amazon.
The December release puts “Wonder Wheel” in the thick of awards season. Amazon won two Oscars last year for “Manchester By the Sea,” and they’re clearly hoping for more attention this year with titles like Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck” and Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying,” which was just announced as the opening film for the New York Film Festival.
Much of December is wide open on the release calendar given the debut of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” but Allen will certainly be good counter-programming in indie movie theaters. “Wonder Wheel” will be going up against A24’s “The Disaster Artist” on December 1, followed by Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” the following weekend.