Eastwood goes head-to-head with Jackson this December

Posted by · 10:13 pm · June 4th, 2009

Clint EastwoodIt’ll be Clint Eastwood in one corner, Peter Jackson in the other for round two this Oscar season.

Tuesday we broke the news that Clint Eastwood’s untitled Nelson Mandela/1995 World Cup film would be titled “Invictus.”  Now comes word form Variety that the film will be released December 11, the same day as Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones” (featured this week in Guy’s Page to Screen column).

“Invictus” follows Mandela’s attempt to use the 1995 Rugby World Cup to heal his nation following his release from prison, the fall of apartheid and his election as president of South Africa…

Eastwood drew the title of the film from a short poem often recited by Mandela. “Invictus,” penned by William Ernest Henley, speaks to the will to survive in the face of adversity.

“Invictus” isn’t the first picture to claim Dec. 11. Also opening that weekend is Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones,” from Paramount and DreamWorks.

The Dec. 11 release puts “Invictus” and “Lovely Bones” in the heart of awards season.

Also note the utter lack of sourcing our story from two days ago. Nothing new there, but you roll with the punches in this racket.

→ 14 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

14 responses so far

  • 1 6-04-2009 at 10:25 pm

    MattyD. said...

    This, much like my feelings towards Gran Torino last year is that it just isn’t going to resonate with the academy. I know it has the makings of an incredible academy film, but I just feel it isn’t going to hit.

    Then again, I know absolutely NOTHING of the screenplay so who knows. As Sasha Stone says “Nobody knows anything”.

  • 2 6-04-2009 at 11:23 pm

    The InSneider said...

    After Changeling, how can you not be skeptical of Clint?

  • 3 6-04-2009 at 11:38 pm

    Brian said...

    They probably are going to have two very different release patterns, so I don’t think it’ll become much of a feud or anything.

  • 4 6-05-2009 at 1:46 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I’m just going to go out on a limb and predict that neither one will score big-time.

  • 5 6-05-2009 at 3:09 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    This movie is way more Oscar-bait than Changeling (still an excellent film!). Besides, count on Mandela and Pienaar themselves attending the ceremony if the film gets big nods. That would be awesome.

  • 6 6-05-2009 at 3:12 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Considering amongst other things that the man will be 91 next year, I’d imagine attending the Oscars would be fairly low on Mandela’s list of priorities.

  • 7 6-05-2009 at 8:18 am

    The Dude said...

    At first glance it looks like “Invictus” is shooting itself in the foot…while Clint is an icon, Peter Jackson’s recent track record (financially) suggests that “The Lovely Bones” will be a behemoth when it opens should it get good reviews (OK, behemoth might be an exaggeration, but can we all admit that with Jackson attached this movie is gonna make more money that if it was another director, no matter the quality?). Opening the same weekend would be bad for Clint…

    …But Brian makes an excellent point. I’m assuming Jackson’s movie will be opening wide, while CLint’s will be limited (and open wide closer to Christmas or in January). Having “Invictus” open the same weekend may prove to be some genius counter-programming to those who aren’t fans of Lovely Bones novel. At first glance it seems stupid, but after thinking about it I agree with Brian…I don’t think this will hurt either movie.

  • 8 6-05-2009 at 8:54 am

    DeezNutz said...

    They both have different audiences…so Invictus should be fine, and i’m assuming a limited release is going to happen. But its not gonna beat TLB box-office wise. Lovely Bones is an insanely popualr book, with a marketable cast, and i’m assuming they’re gonna hump the hell outta the phrase “From the visionary director of LORD OF THE RINGS”.

    I think both realize Dec. 11 is prime real estate, i dont think itd be a good idea to release a film once the avatar craze hits.

  • 9 6-05-2009 at 9:07 am

    Zac said...

    That really sucks that your site breaks the story on the title, but the Variety article makes it sound like they found out themselves. Any chance of contacting them to add the sourcing to the story or a correction in a future issue?

    Speaking of Variety, I got a offer in the mail yesterday telling me I could subscribe for $255 a year. Ha!

  • 10 6-05-2009 at 9:08 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    The Dude: I’m 99% sure “Invictus” will have a staggered release pattern and “Lovely Bones” will open wide. Completely different audiences, as Deez says. I’m just being playful with this “vs.” thing.

  • 11 6-05-2009 at 9:09 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Zac: I sent a friendly email to Pamela. We’re colleagues, write under the same roof once a year. Not going to kick up a Steve Weintraub-like fuss or anything, but it’s certainly frustrating.


  • 12 6-05-2009 at 12:15 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    This is definitely a heated battle for which film I will avoid seeing more on that date.

  • 13 6-05-2009 at 12:23 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    hmm Eastwood or Jackson, finally a respectable competition, hmm. Lovely Bones.

  • 14 6-06-2009 at 12:03 am

    Katie said...

    “This is definitely a heated battle for which film I will avoid seeing more on that date” hahahah

    Personally, I’m dying to see The Lovely Bones. Such a moving book, and Jackson has done so well with adapting challenging material with the Lord of the Rings films.

    But I hate that Mark Walberg is in this. I can’t get “The Happening” out of my mindset of his work. Love him in those thriller/angry man/action stuff. But not this. Ugh. I hate it when actors want oscor noms with The real stuff. Work on your career with someone else’s favorite book, stay out of this one!