Ron Howard's 'In the Heart of the Sea' Delayed Until December

Thursday, 15 January 2015 10:00 Written by  iamrogue
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Ron Howard's 'In the Heart of the Sea' Delayed Until December

We just heard the nominations for this year's Academy Awards, but In the Heart of the Sea is getting a much better swing at next year's awards season.

Ron Howard's next film has long been scheduled for March, but Warner Bros. has shifted the release date back nine months to December 11, 2015.

Often, a delay puts a stink on a movie, a stink that doesn't wash off regardless of hype.  The stink doesn't apply here, though.  This isn't a move to give Howard time to right a ship; In the Heart of the Sea is pretty much complete and the move to a much higher-profile release date signals a lot of confidence from the studio.

The fact that December 11th is smack-dab in the middle of prestige season makes that confidence especially pronounced.  The brass at Warner Bros. must think Howard's latest has some real Oscar potential. 

And why not?  Another Howard-directed tale of professionals surviving an unsurvivable situation, Apollo 13, was nominated for nine Oscars back in 1996. 

Also, the trailers for In the Heart of the Sea have been tremendous. So tremendous, in fact, that the March release date didn't make a lot of sense for a movie with broad appeal, thrills, and a summer-friendly leading man in Chris Hemsworth.

Now Howard's follow-up to the under-appreciated Rush will hit theaters during the holiday season, just one week before Star Wars: The Force Awakens storms multiplexes nationwide.  Warner Bros. is sliding Run All Night into its old March 13th slot, shifting the Liam Neeson actioner forward about a month.

An adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick's book, In the Heart of the Sea is the story of the whaleship Essex, which 1819 set out from Nantucket to fill its belly with whale oil, only to be rammed by a sperm whale Moby Dick-style, leaving the survivors to float on the open ocean for about three months, starving, increasingly desperate, and in some cases, resorting to cannibalism.

Hemsworth, currently starring in Blackhat, lead a cast that includes Benjamin Walker as Captain Pollard, along with Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Jordi Molla, Tom Holland, Michelle Fairley, and Paul Anderson.  The story is told via a framing device in which Gleeson tells the tale to a young Herman Melville, played by Ben Whishaw.

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