Talk has been on the ground for a little bit now that we’re going to once again see major film studios shifting their release schedule, pushing back some of the big titles currently scheduled for spring 2021 releases. With no end in sight for the impact that the COVID pandemic has been having on the theater industry for the last year, it’s hard to imagine studios wanting to keep movies like The King’s Man (March 12th), No Time to Die (April 2nd), A Quiet Place Part II (April 23rd), and Black Widow (May 7th) keeping their current release dates.
While we wait to hear official word on those major titles, Searchlight Pictures has announced a batch of their own big releases for official dates starting in July of 2021.
First up is The Night House, a horror film from director David Bruckner (The Signal, The Ritual) that premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival to generally good reviews. That film stars Rebecca Hall (director of one of this year’s big Sundance premieres, Passing) as a woman who starts to experience disturbing events while living alone in a lakeside home after the death of her husband. Searchlight will release it on July 16th, 2021.
Next we have The Eyes of Tammy Faye, which tells the story of televangelists Tammy Faye Bakker and Jim Bakker. Directed by Michael Showalter (The Big Sick), the film has a major league duo in the leading roles, with Jessica Chastain as Tammy and Andrew Garfield as Jim. It’s been speculated as a major awards player, although its current release date of September 24th raises a bit of a red flag, as that’s not often a lucrative time for awards releases.
One film that definitely isn’t looking for awards, but rather to creep the living hell out of you, is Antlers, the latest release from Black Mass and Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper. Antlers has had a brutal time trying to get released, as it was originally scheduled to open in theaters on April 17th of 2020, soon after theaters first went into lockdown with the rest of the world. It’s had its release pushed back several times, with its new date set for October 29th, 2021. Hopefully this one sticks, as many are looking forward to seeing this supernatural horror starring Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, and Graham Greene.
The final release date that Searchlight has announced is certainly its most attention grabbing. Coming high off of his Best Picture winning success The Shape of Water, director Guillermo del Toro is finally ready to give us another trip into his unique mind with Nightmare Alley. The long talked about project is set to star Bradley Cooper as an ambitious young carny who joins forces with a psychiatrist played by Cate Blanchett, and it sounds like they mean bad news. Leonardo DiCaprio was originally in talks to star before being replaced by Cooper, and this cast is stacked from top to bottom, with Cooper and Blanchett being joined by the likes of Willem Dafoe, Toni Colette, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Rooney Mara, David Strathairn, and plenty more. This is going to be a rare R-rated studio project, and surely everyone from casual audiences to critics are going to be eager to see it when it gets released on December 3rd, 2021.
Of course, any of these release dates are subject to change as we continue to live in very uncertain times. It’s also worth noting that Searchlight didn’t say anything about the release of one of their other most anticipated titles, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, a film that is likely aiming to premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, whenever that may end up taking place.