La La Land, Damien Chazelle's attempt to recapture the magic of movie musicals, will hit theatres next December.
Lionsgate, the U.S. studio behind the film, is moving La La Land from a previously scheduled July launch. It will now open in the U.S. in a limited release on Dec. 2 before expanding on Dec. 16. That puts it right in the heart of awards season, a sign that the studio thinks it could have an Oscar contender on its hands.
A spokesperson for the film's Australian distributor eOne told SBS that it will follow suit and push the film back from its scheduled July 14 release to a yet-to-be-confirmed date in December.
Expectations are high for La La Land because it marks Chazelle's follow-up to Whiplash, the 2014 best picture nominee about a drumming prodigy and a very volatile jazz instructor. In addition to adding in some song and dance elements, La La Land reunites Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, last seen in 2011's Crazy Stupid Love and 2013's Gangster Squad.
The new date means that La La Land will expand on the same day that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, a spin-off to the space opera saga, and the Will Smith drama Collateral Beauty hit theatres. In its old July berth, La La Land would have faced off against the reboot of Ghostbusters, which swaps out Bill Murray and company for Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy.