EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst's Long-Delayed All Good Things Headed to Magnolia?
After an extended period of limbo that involved director Andrew Jarecki buying back U.S. distribution rights from The Weinstein Company, the Ryan Gosling/Kirsten Dunst true-crime drama All Good Things appears to have found a new home at Magnolia Pictures. Moreover, according to info buried on one theater's website, the film could make its first appearance as early as next week.
An eagle-eyed tipster points to the Laemmle Theaters site, which
has had (see below) AGT quietly debuting July 28 at Encino's Town Center 5 -- one afternoon screening per day. That's the kind of surreptitious end-run you usually see for Oscar-qualifying documentaries, not highly anticipated dramatic narratives with two young stars like Gosling and Dunst (not to mention a supporting cast that includes Frank Langella and Kristen Wiig). The distributor cited is Magnolia Pictures.
Which is where it gets a little fuzzy. Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles clarified to Movieline this afternoon that "there's no deal for the film and we're not releasing it next week" -- which is technically true, even though a day off in Encino will earn you bragging rights before the film even makes the fall festival rounds (assuming a week in Encino doesn't invalidate AGT's premiere status). Jarecki, who previously worked with Magnolia on his Oscar-nominated 2003 documentary debut Capturing the Friedmans, and his producers at Groundswell Films have yet to respond to requests for comment.
The film is based on the tabloid-ready life of New York real-estate scion Robert Durst, whose wife disappeared in 1982 and who was later acquitted of murdering his neighbor in Texas. (He claimed self-defense, despite having dismembered the body and dumped the parts in Galveston Bay.) AGT features Gosling as the Durst-esque David Marks, Dunst as his never-found wife, and Langella as his controlling father.
The Weinsteins made a deal for the film in 2008, then shelved it during a troubled 2008-09 run that also saw the likes of The Road, Hoodwinked 2 and Shanghai pushed further and further back -- indefinitely so, in the latter two cases. Jarecki, who also happened to co-found Moviefone, finally dropped the money to reclaim AGT's rights earlier this year. "We had a different strategy for how we wanted to release the picture," TWC distribution boss David Glasser told the LAT at the time. "He purchased the rights back. [... T]his is not something we normally or traditionally do." In this case, "different strategy" likely means, "We bought Blue Valentine at Sundance and can't have Gosling and/or Dunst competing against Gosling and/or Michelle Wiliiams come awards season." Just guessing.
That development made it just a matter of time before All Good Things landed somewhere, anywhere else. And why not Magnolia? One good turn deserves another, though Encino seems an odd starting point. I'd have thought maybe Venice or Toronto.
UPDATE: Laemmle has since removed AGT from next week's line-up online, but here's a screencap of the listing as of noon ET today . Keep an eye on it if you want; as long as that 1 p.m. scheduling window remains in the theater screening Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, rest assured that something is playing there.