It’s been quite a while since audiences have been graced with the release of a David O’ Russell picture. From 2010 to 2015, a David O’ Russell film had been almost a yearly event with an accompanying cascade of awards to supplement the mass acclaim his movies received.
Russell has taken extra time to work on his next project and with the forced delays of the COVID pandemic, audiences have been left wondering when they’d ever see his next movie. At long last, the wait is over. Amsterdam has been announced as the next film by David O’ Russell and a release date is looming on the horizon.
David O’ Russell’s New Movie
Amsterdam is set to be auteur Director David O’ Russell’s latest movie since Joy in 2015, marking seven years since Russell had his last movie released in theaters. Russell started his feature career in 1994 with Spanking the Monkey, followed by Flirting with Disaster in 1996, which started his collaboration with the Weinstein Brothers and Miramax.
Russell’s first big hit came with Three Kings in 1999, a film that received critical and audience acclaim, taking in 107.7 million dollars on a 48 million dollar budget. Throughout his career, Russell has become notable for “finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.”
Russell’s focus on character and plot-driven movies over the eccentricity and visual dominance of the Hollywood blockbuster has defined his career, focusing on relatable themes such as community, friendship, and family, with the backdrop of defining periods in American history often serving some kind of role. Russell has often been the subject of controversy, known for his emotional outbursts on set and reputation as a tightly wound perfectionist.
Russell tends to push his actors too far, most notably in his spat with Lily Tomlin on the set of I Heart Huckabees (2004). While Tomlin has forgiven Russell and offered to work with him on future productions, Amy Adams and George Clooney have refused to work with Russell in the future as a result of his treatment of them and the crew, although they have not denied his artistic talent.
Russell’s cinematic renaissance began in 2010 with The Fighter, followed by Silver Linings Playbook in 2012, American Hustle in 2013, and Joy in 2015. The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle all received critical and audience praise, taking awards season by storm. Joy received more mixed reviews than the others, but thanks to a tremendous performance by Jennifer Lawrence, it was able to make its rounds come award season.
Although Russell has never won an Oscar personally, he’s been nominated for Best Director for The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle, as well as for best adapted and original screenplay for the latter two movies. Amsterdam will be Russell’s first collaboration with 20th Century Studios, after previously working with The Weinstein Company, Columbia Pictures, Annapurna Pictures, and Paramount on his most recent productions.
The Cast of Amsterdam
The films of David O’ Russell are a dream vessel for actors to showcase their talent, with Russell’s movies being dialogue centered with minimal set pieces and effects. The Fighter earned three acting nominations, with Melissa Leo winning for Best Supporting Actress, Christian Bale winning for Best Actor, and Amy Adams was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
Silver Linings Playbook got Jennifer Lawrence her first Oscar win for Best Actress, with co-star Bradley Cooper being nominated for Best Actor. Jacki Weaver and Robert De Niro also received nominations for Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor.
American Hustle may not have netted any wins but received nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Actress for Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, as well as Best Actor and Actress for Christian Bale and Amy Adams. Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for Best Actress for Joy, earning a nomination for each of her roles in David O’ Russell’s films.
The cast of Russell’s latest film is star-studded, to say the least. The Amsterdam cast includes Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Robert De Niro, Zoe Saldana, Mike Myers, Timothy Olyphant, Michael Shannon, Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Andrea Riseborough.
Amsterdam also includes Taylor Swift, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alessandro Nivola, Leland Order, and Sean Avery in supporting roles. Michael B. Jordan was originally supposed to play John David Washington’s part, but due to scheduling conflicts related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jordan was ultimately replaced.
Notably absent from Amsterdam is frequent Russell collaborator, Jennifer Lawrence, who took home an Oscar win and two other nominations for her parts in Russell’s last three films. She had been considered for the role that was ultimately given to Margot Robbie but was ultimately not cast.
Angelina Jolie and Jamie Foxx were two actors who were also considered for roles, but Jolie passed and Jordan (eventually John David Washington) was picked over Foxx. Amsterdam will be Russell’s third collaboration with Christian Bale and fourth with Robert De Niro.
What is the Amsterdam Film About?
CinemaCon took place April 25-28 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas for a select group of theater owners from around the world. It was at this venue that Disney executive, Tony Chambers, announced that “Untitled David O’ Russell Project” would be called “Amsterdam.” This was contrary to previous rumors that the film would be titled, “Canterbury Glass.” Chambers called the Russell movie, “an original romantic crime epic,” and debuted the sizzle reel for the select audience at CinemaCon.
IMDb currently states that the film takes place in 1930s Amsterdam and will be about three close friends who witness and become subject to a murder investigation, unraveling one of the most outrageous plots in American history.
Robert De Niro may be the detective behind the murder case too, as in the trailer he is the one questioning the three friends, Bale, Robbie, and Washington about their involvement. These interrogations reveal via Bale’s voiceover, that the film will follow Robbie, Washington, and Bale, who play World War I veterans that made a pact to protect one another no matter what.
The hidden teaser also revealed that it is Swift’s character who has her father murdered, with the fallout being the center point of the plot. In this scene, Taylor Swift cries over her father, while Chris Rock remarks to Christian Bale that when a dead white man is in a box it’ll be the black guy who is blamed. Amsterdam gives off quirky vibes, hinting at outrageously shocking secret plots that will culminate in a romantic crime epic that’s sure to shock.
Amsterdam Film Release Date
Amsterdam is set to release on November 4, 2022. Russell and 20th Century Studios seem to be eyeing the award season with this release date.
Thanks to the tremendous ensemble cast that has been assembled, it wouldn’t come as a great shock to anyone if Amsterdam snagged a few of those coveted Oscars.
Amsterdam gives audiences flashes of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, which to some may be Russell’s two best movies, but only time will tell if the David O’ Russell renaissance will continue.
Given the amount of time that Russell has had to work on Amsterdam, as well as the fact it’s an original screenplay that sees history meet fiction in an outrageous and quirky romantic crime story, sure suggests the movie will be unique and a hilariously righteous hit.