Former Batman Michael Keaton experienced a whirlwind comeback last fall when he powered Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) to a Best Picture win and nine total nominations (including one for Keaton’s performance). Now, he’ll be in the thick of the awards race once more with Tom McCarthy-directed drama Spotlight, which Open Road has dated for November 6.
The star-studded project follows the Boston Globe‘s Spotlight Team that uncovered the Boston Archdiocese’s sexual abuse cover-up, a massive story that had gone mostly ignored by other media outlets. The team’s tireless efforts to bring the abuses to light in an incendiary series of stories ultimately earned the reporters the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for meritorious public service.
McCarthy, who was Oscar-nominated for his work writing Up, directs a cast that also includes Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schrieber, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup and John Slattery. The thrilling true story at the heart of this drama should give it legs well into awards season, and especially given that McCarthy and co-writer Josh Singer worked with the Boston Globe reporters involved in breaking the multi-story feature, its fidelity to reality should prove another draw for true-crime fans.
The November release date plants Spotlight‘s flag squarely in awards season. Focus Features launched The Theory of Everything on that weekend last year, and it went on to claim five Oscar nominations and one win (for Eddie Redmayne’s lead performance).
This year, Spotlight will open directly in limited release against immigrant romance Brooklyn, starring Saoirse Ronan, and Jay Roach political drama Trumbo, which is expected to serve as an awards vehicle for stars Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Helen Mirren and Diane Lane. Wider titles that weekend include Spectre, the new James Bond film, as well as Fox’s The Peanuts Movie (a potential contender for Best Animated Feature) and The Outskirts.