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Foxcatcher release pushed back to 2014 as brief trailer is posted online

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Foxcatcher, the much-anticipated movie about wrestling brothers Mark and Dave Schultz originally scheduled to debut at the AFI Fest in Hollywood on Nov. 8 and in limited release on Dec. 20, will now appear in theaters sometime in 2014, just as a brief trailer was posted at YouTube, according to multiple media sources Friday.

The decision to push back Foxcatcher’s release to a yet-to-be-determined date next year was “to give filmmakers more time to finish,” reports Variety, the respected entertainment publication.

By waiting to release the movie until 2014, Foxcatcher is no longer in contention for Oscar consideration, as films must have been shown in theaters in New York City and Los Angeles before the end of December 2013 to be in the running for any 2014 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award.

There had been some Oscar buzz about Foxcatcher, considering that director Bennett Miller’s other two major motion pictures, Capote and Moneyball, both received Oscar nominations.

The original announcement of a Dec. 20 release date for Foxcatcher was made in mid-August, along with the news that the film would be released by Sony Pictures Classics, not Sony’s Columbia Pictures, as had been expected.

The delay also creates a hole for the American Film Institute, which had announced in early Sept. that Foxcatcher would have its world premiere at the AFI Fest at the famous Chinese Theater in Hollywood on Nov. 8. Variety reported Friday that the AFI anticipates finding a new film for the slot by Oct. 22.

Foxcatcher trailer posted on YouTube

Fans disappointed by the delayed release of Foxcatcher can console themselves by watching a brief trailer for the movie on YouTube. Weighing in at just one minute, six seconds, what is described as a "teaser trailer" features quick-cut images primarily of Steve Carell as John du Pont, and Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz. Carell’s voice – which InterMat senior wrestling writer T.R. Foley describes as “hollow and monotone” – serves as the narration for the promo, delivering lines such as “I am a patriot. I want to see this country soar again” and “A coach is a father. A coach is a mentor. A coach has great power over an athlete.”

In describing Foxcatcher back in August, The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “The film...recounts the true story of an Olympic wrestling champion (Mark Schultz) whose brother (Dave Schultz), a fellow Olympian, was murdered by a paranoid schizophrenic millionaire (John du Pont)..."

In addition to starring Tatum and Carell, the film also stars Mark Ruffalo as Dave Schultz, who was murdered by du Pont, the millionaire owner of the Foxcatcher wrestling facility outside Philadelphia, in Jan. 1996.

Both Schultz brothers earned gold medals in freestyle at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. In addition, each had successful collegiate mat careers. Elder brother Dave Schultz was a three-time NCAA All-American (one year at Oklahoma State, twice at University of Oklahoma), winning the 167-pound title for the Sooners in 1982. Mark Schultz was a three-time NCAA Division I champ for Oklahoma (1981-83).

In striving to provide a realistic portrayal of wrestling, Ruffalo, a wrestler in high school, worked with former college wrestlers John Guira (Wisconsin), Jesse Jantzen (Harvard), and four-time Olympic medalist Bruce Baumgartner. In addition, the movie hired real-world referee Fred Feeney to play an on-the-mat official in a Mark Schultz match at the 1988 Seoul Olympics vs. Turkish matman Necmi Gencalp, played by former American University wrestler Muzaffar Abdurakhmanov who is now an assistant coach at Harvard.

A number of other wrestlers appear in the film as wrestlers, including 2012 U.S. Olympian Jake Herbert.

Meet some of the real-life wrestlers who are featured in Foxcatcher... with a photo album/list at College Wrestling Examiner.

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