And the Jesse James plot thickens: yesterday I linked to a Kevin Williamson interview in the Calgary Sun with Tony Scott, who’s the executive producer of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Scott said to Williamson that the film, directed by Andrew Dominik with Brad Pitt playing the famed Missouri outlaw, would be out in February ’07.
Now I’m hearing forget February. In fact, forget any specific date. Limbo!
Before posting I called a Warner Bros. p.r. rep yesterday for a precise date — she didn’t get back until this afternoon, and she told me Scott is “absolutely wrong…I don’t know where he got that…the film is not coming out in Feburary…nobody’s seen it and we don’t have a date.” She couldn’t even suggest a season; nor could Scott (I called his office and was blown off) or producer Jules Daly (ditto).
Scott told Williamson that “we have to be careful how we market [Jesse James] because it’s like a Terrence Malick film. But it’s really good and Brad’s terrific in it — he just gets better with age.” Throw in WB’s release-date quandary and the implication is that Jesse James is perhaps a little too Terrence Malicky — too pastoral and picturesque, too much meditative muttering…something?
This was a movie that was going to come out last September — now the studio won’t even say what season it’ll open in. That’s a problem. The only time to open an offbeat western that’s making everyone a little nervous (a film, say, in the vein of All The Pretty Horses?) is (a) in either February-March or early April, (b) the dumping ground of August or (c) October-November (i.e., if it’s any good). If it’s the latter, The Assassination of Jesse James will become, in a sense, the All The Kings Men of the fall ’07 season.