This shakes up the holidays with an unexpected jolt of adrenaline, doesn’t it? Reader Sean points out that Sony has upgraded The Tourist to First Class passage with a premiere route through the very heart of Oscar season. (Previously set to embark in February 2011). Several reliable sites confirm, but I’m interested this morning in the slant from box office mojo:
Sony Pictures announced this afternoon that the Johnny Depp-Angelina Jolie romantic thriller The Tourist is now set to open Dec. 10.
A remake of French thriller Anthony Zimmer, The Tourist features Depp as an American vacationing in Venice, Italy, who, while attempting to romance Jolie’s character, becomes embroiled in a web of international intrigue and suspense. This year has already been a good one for Depp and Jolie, as they have each had hits in Alice in Wonderland ($334.2 million) and Salt ($104.2 million and counting), respectively. Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who won the Best Foreign Language Oscar in 2007 for Cold War drama The Lives of Others, The Tourist will debut opposite The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and David O. Russell’s The Fighter.
As if anyone needs to be reminded of Depp and Jolie’s earning power. But it’s fortuitous to have the momentum of two new financial bonanzas associated with their names preceding a more sophisticated effort — especially considering that Wonderland and Salt would have gone nowhere without the star engines driving them.
Since there’s no way to reward those profits it’s nice for the industry to have a more honorable shot at showing its appreciation. (I’m always wary of attempts to characterize the thoughts of “the industry” but in this instance I feel safe in assuming a fairly consistent feeling of goodwill toward Angelina and Johnny).
As for The Tourist, its source is classy action thriller so we’ll have to wait to see how much depth the 3 Oscar-winning men directing and scripting it have managed to add. I wrote this about the French inspiration for The Tourist in February.
Terrific knotty plot, old-school espionage thriller with mind-blowing twists. Something like Stanley Donan‚Äôs Charade only not so self-aware. Should be a really fun romp.
[re: that tangled plot. Do you notice sometimes in remakes of tricky thrillers and well-known gotcha novels, how the screen adaptation will add another layer on top of what you think you know from the source material? Two masters of interlocking puzzle box screenplays — Julian Fellowes and Christopher McQuarrie — have adapted Anthony Zimmer and I’m expecting the labyrinth has undergone an elaborate transformation on its way to becoming The Tourist.
I’m excited all over again after yesterday’s release date change. Sean asks how we feel about The Tourist’s Oscar prospects in light of this news — and for myself I can only say, “How I feel makes no difference to anything.” The significant thing we should consider here is how Sony feels. They have the advantage of knowing exactly what they’ve got on film, and I trust they’ve honed their instincts to a sharp savvy edge in positioning The Tourist for maximum prestige recognition.