It’s the Truth! Sony Pictures Classics Sets Rathergate Drama for Oct. 16

Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford as they appear ina promotional still for James Vanderbilt’s Truth (via Variety)

I’ve wondered how Sony Pictures Classics would handle James Vanderbilt’s Truth – whether the Rathergate drama would get an Oscar release or hit theaters next year. Well, SPC has some faith in it, apparently, as the film will hit theaters on Oct. 16, according to Variety.

The primary focus of Truth – based on the book Truth and Duty by Mary Mapes, Dan Rather’s producer – is the controversial episode of 60 Minutes alleging that then-U.S. President George W. Bush may have been AWOL from the U.S. National Guard for more than a year during the Vietnam War. This episode aired on Sept. 8, 2004 – just before the 2004 presidential election.

Cate Blanchett stars as Mapes; Robert Redford plays Rather. Elisabeth Moss (who also leads Alex Ross Perry’s psychological thriller Queen of Earth this year), Dennis Quaid, and Topher Grace also star.

Before now, the biggest contender on SPC’s plate, at least as far as the best-actress category is concerned, was Lily Tomlin in Paul Weitz’s Grandma. Blanchett’s Truth turn may take precedence over Tomlin’s perf in the Sundance dramedy; the film may be the specialty distributor’s big play overall, if Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light with Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen either disapponts or proves to be just an acting play.

On that note, SPC’s move may also complicate campaign plans for Todd Haynes’ Carol. Blanchett co-leads the lesbian drama with Rooney Mara, and while initial plans seem to have her in lead and Mara in supporting, the two-time Oscar winner is the clearcut lead of Truth, according to early word on the film. One wonders – well, maybe it’s just me – if Blanchett will go supporting for Carol.

Regardless of what happens there, Truth hits theaters the same day the A24-distributed captivity drama Room with Brie Larson debuts in select locations. Wide releases slated for Oct. 16 are Steven Spielberg’s Cold War drama Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks, Guillermo del Toro’s gothic horror pic Crimson Peak with Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, and Charlie Hunnam, and the Goosebumps flick with Jack Black.

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