Columbia Pictures’ “All the King’s Men” will finally be released nationally on September 22, 2006, (SEE UPDATE BELOW) after it makes an appearance at the Toronto Film Festival. Based on Robert Penn Warren’s 1946 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “All the King’s Men” is a classic of American literature that tells the story of an idealistic man of the people who soon becomes corrupted by success and caught between dreams of service and an insatiable lust for power. While a uniquely American story, the message of “All the King’s Men” is universal and very relevant today. It uses politics as a framework to delve into the more profound conflicts of human nature – sin, guilt and redemption. Warren’s novel was inspired by the career of Louisiana governor Huey P. Long and had a profound effect on contemporary literature, serving as a model for some of the best-selling political novels of the past half-century. But – will the movie work? “Steve Zaillian has delivered a wonderful and provocative motion picture with a timeless story and fantastic performances. We couldn’t be more proud of the way ‘All the King’s Men’ turned out. Early fall will be a great time to release this film,” said an optimistic Jeff Blake, Vice Chairman of Sony Pictures. What he failed to mention was that “All The King’s Men” was originally scheduled for release in December of 2005. Our sources tell us that the film tested so poorly in 2005 that Sony yanked the film out of the coveted Oscar season slot, giving a push to its starless cast of “Memoirs Of A Geisha,” instead. Smart move there, huh?
With a screenplay written and directed by Zaillian, who received an Academy Award for his adaptation of “Schindler’s List,” “All The King’s Men” features an all-star cast including Oscar winners Sean Penn and Anthony Hopkins, and Academy Award nominees Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Patricia Clarkson, along with Emmy winners James Gandolfini and Mark Ruffalo. But will the re-edits we hear “All The King’s Men” has undergone help in the long run? “All The King’s Men” competition on its opening weekend in September will most likely be “Jackass 2,” “Running With Scissors” and Christopher Guest’s comedy, “For Your Consideration.” We’re making an early prediction: “All The King’s Men” will suffer the same fate as Humpty Dumpty.