‘Seventh Son’ Heading Towards Seventh Delay

seventh sonIf you were waiting for an early or even late 2014 release of Seventh Son, I have bad news for you… even worse if you’ve been waiting since the original February 2013 release date.

For the Nth time, the release date for this film has been pushed. Its release date is now set for Feb 6, 2015. Hopefully, when that date rolls around we won’t hear of another push.

As some of you know, from the podcasts, I am a huge fan of Jeff Bridges. I was anticipating RIPD for 2+ years and similarly with this one, I am frustrated with the delays. So I decided to do some digging.

Seventh Son is:

An 18th century adventure story centered on young Thomas, who is apprenticed to the local Spook to learn to fight evil spirits. His first great challenge comes when the powerful Mother Malkin escapes her confinement while the Spook is away. – IMDB

It is an adaptation of a young ddult novel The Spook’s Apprentice (The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch in the USA) by Joseph Delaney. The first story in the series The Wardstone Chronicles.

The cast is full of goodies: Ben Barnes as the Apprentice, Jeff Bridges as the Master, Julianne Moore as Mother Malkin, and a supporting cast of Kit Harington (Jon Snow from Game of Thrones), Antje Taue (Faora-Ul in Man of Steel, and Nadia in Pandorun), and Olivia Williams (DeWitt from Dollhouse, and Countess Vronsky in Anna Karenina).

So why does it keep getting pushed?

Seventh SonThis production has had a smattering of issues.

There is a writing credit for Matt Greenberg that says he wrote a “previous screenplay” which just means that the new one has elements of the old one, but they must have done a massive re-write which would have delayed things, but only in the beginning… unless the re-write was sudden and in the middle of filming.

Originally Jennifer Lawrence and Alex Pettyfer were supposed to be in the film, but when they bowed out there were plenty of stars testing and auditioning for the roles (e.g., Shiloh Fernandez, Sam Claflin, Caleb Landry Jones, James Frecheville, Dianna Agron, Imogen Poots and Felicity Jones). In the end I think that they ended up with a fantastic cast, though I would say that any production that loses Jennifer Lawrence will be poorer for it.

Also, Tuomas Kantelinen and A.R. Rahman were to compose the soundtrack, but because of other production delays they dropped out in Autumn of 2013. Obviously, they were not the reasons that the release date was pushed because they seemed as upset with the production delays as you or I.

I haven’t heard of any recent production issues, in fact I heard that it was completed a while ago and ready for release. It would have easily made its release date this month.

What might truly be the culprit is that, according to IMDB:

Warner Bros. was originally supposed to release the film as part of a long-running partnership with the film’s producer, Legendary Entertainment. Advertising materials were already being made when both parties agreed to end the partnership, and Legendary affiliated with Universal Pictures, which is now distributing the film. This explains why early posters still contain the Warner Bros. logo.

*Bet those posters will be collector’s items!*

It does not say when this happened, but after a bit of snooping I found via a Variety Article  that they had split in June 2013, and at that time Legendary was in talks with Lionsgate, Universal, Sony and Fox. An article dated July 9th , finally showed that Legendary had signed with Universal.

I don’t know about you, but that seems like ages ago. It certainly explains why the release was pushed from Oct 2013 to Jan 2014, but not why we now have an additional year to wait.

Of course when Universal has took Legendary under its wing, Seventh Son was not the only project happening, and it seems that Universal has taken a step back and done a bit of juggling with many of its release dates.

Warcraft, for example, was originally set to be released Dec 18th, 2015, but has now been pushed to March 2016. That seems a bit far off to be already pushing the project if it weren’t for the fact that the new Star Wars is set to be released around that time, making it a good move on their part.

But back to Seventh Son, which will now be out just shy of Valentines Day next year, which is about the time that Universal has set to release Fifty Shades of Grey. So I guess they figured it was something for the boys to do while the girls are off with Christian Grey. Note my sarcastic eye roll at that because I would much MUCH rather see Seventh Son than Fifty Shades, but then again it still gives me an alternative, even if it means I have to wait another year to see it.

And the push might ultimately be good for the movie, since it would have been up against some heavy hitters back in October, and even now in January. But usually production and release date delays don’t bode well for a movie and may give audiences a bad impression before they have a chance to see it leading to a box office bomb. Even with my Jeff Bridges-induced enthusiasm I am starting to worry that they are trying to release it in a non-competitive market because it isn’t that good and don’t want to have it competing with big films. But I will try my best not to let critics or anyone, give me a bad impression of it and just take it on its own merit with no expectations. As I always say, we’ll just have to see!

Neither Universal nor Legendary have really been vocal about why the delays have happened. Filming was finished a year ago and everyone seems to say that the post-production has been completed. So, will we see it Feb 6th 2015? Holy Jeff Bridges, I hope so.

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