News about THE LIBERTINE release dates–November 25th in the UK, December in the U.S.!

UK Deppheads who have been on pins and needles waiting for any word of a release date for THE LIBERTINE, Laurence Dunmore’s maiden effort starting Johnny Depp as the decadent Earl of Rochester, can finally circle a date on their calendars: November 25th! Emma reports that the UK distributor for THE LIBERTINE, Entertainment Film, has confirmed a release date of November 25, 2005. At last–a true bit of holiday cheer for our friends across the Pond. Thanks for the great news, emma!

Meanwhile, it looks as if UK fans will get the first look at Wilmot, since Miramax, which is distributing THE LIBERTINE in the U.S., has just postponed the release date from mid-September to December, 2005! THE LIBERTINE was given a September release along with many other Miramax films, due to the imminent separation of Miramax from its one-time corporate parent, Disney. Much as we longed to see the film, knowledgeable fans mourned since a September release would virtually kill any chance for Oscar consideration for Johnny’s performance.

Now Miramax has rethought its strategy regarding THE LIBERTINE. In an article about Miramax in the Los Angeles Times on August 16th, Claudia Eller writes that the Weinsteins plucked THE LIBERTINE off the fire sale pile to save it for an Oscar push for Johnny Depp as Rochester. “THE LIBERTINE period piece starring Johnny Depp was [. . .] recently moved from September to December to increase Depp’s Oscar chances,” notes Eller, adding that “the Weinsteins also will promote and release Depp’s THE LIBERTINE through their new company, collecting a distribution fee from Disney.” The Zone thanks micdus for posting the Los Angeles Times article on the News & Views forum. You can read the whole article about Miramax HERE.

Sleepy adds an interesting note from internet critic David Poland, who offers this comment on the shift in the release date: “THE LIBERTINE, scheduled for December awards hopefulness, will quietly disappear if the critics don’t bite and bite hard…. unless keeping Johnny happy becomes the first priority… which would be a fiscally sound choice.” Now that Johnny Depp is #7 on the Forbes celebrity 100 list and a box office powerhouse, Miramax and Disney have to treat his projects with respect. “A few years ago, THE LIBERTINE would have been given the DEAD MAN treatment,” sleepy observes. “How times change.”