Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Mary Magdalene’ Pushed Back to 2018
Don’t expect to see Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus Christ any time soon. For that, you’re going to have to wait until Easter Sunday.
Garth Davis‘ Mary Magdalene, starring Phoenix as JC, Rooney Mara as the titular JC follower, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peter, was expected to debut this fall. The biblical drama had an awards season appropriate release date of November 24, but word arrived today via Variety that The Weinstein Company has decided to push the film back to next year. Mary Magdalene will now hit theaters on March 30, 2018 on Easter weekend, opening opposite Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One and Tyler Perry’s She’s Living My Life. TWC’s other Oscar-friendly title, The Current War, about Thomas Edison will instead open on that November release slot.
It’s an interesting choice for the studio to take Mary Magdalene out of the upcoming Oscar race; it’s helmed by the director behind last year’s Lion, which earned six Academy Award nominations, and stars three incredibly promising leads. According to Indiewire, the company said they pulled the film out of this year’s awards race for the sake of timing to complete it. So don’t expect to see Mara as a major presence at the Oscars this year (as fantastic as she is in both A Ghost Story and Song to Song, it would be quite a stretch to see either of those roles get Academy attention).
What’s more interesting though is how The Weinstein Company will have a less eventful Oscar season than usual. This news follows the company’s seemingly never-ending release changes for Tulip Fever, a film I’m almost convinced doesn’t exist. The Alicia Vikander film, which debuted at Cannes two years ago, was set to open this Friday until the studio suddenly pushed back the release to September 1 (which a review embargo date set for that afternoon) after cancelling multiple press screenings in New York. So you can probably bet the not-so-feverish Vikander-Dane DeHaan romance won’t be winning all the Oscars. Otherwise, the studio still has Alfonso Gomez‐Rejon’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon-led Current War, debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. You’ll just have to hold your breath a little longer to see Joaquin Phoenix’s Jesus beard in action.