Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope opened to very strong reviews out in Sundance back in January, getting buzz straight off the bat to be a big hit this summer. Open Road and Sony partnered to pick up the rights for the comedy drama. And while it is heading into US cinemas this month, Sony has now set the Dope UK release date for September.
Since its debut out in Park City, Dope has been doing a great job of building the buzz. The film played in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes last month and will soon be appearing at the Los Angeles Film Festival. And it has its UK premiere at the end of the month at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where it’s sure to bank goodwill among early moviegoers on this side of the Atlantic.
A critical hit and audience favorite out of the Sundance Film Festival, in DOPE, Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is carefully surviving life in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles while juggling college applications, academic interviews, and the SAT. A chance invitation to an underground party leads him into an adventure that could allow him to go from being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself.
Shameik Moore (Incredible Crew), Kiersey Clemons (Transparent), and Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel) look to have done an awesome job as the leading trio. And they’re surrounded by Kimberly Elise, A$AP Rocky, Blake Anderson, Keith Stanfield, Chanel Iman, Quincy Brown, and Zoë Kravitz, with Forest Whitaker serving as the narrator.
Famuyiwa (Brown Sugar) directs from his own script. And along with his narration, Forest Whitaker also produces with his filmmaking partner Nina Yang Bongiovi (Fruitvale Station). And not only that, but Pharrell Williams has contributed four original songs to the movie, making its soundtrack something to look forward to as well.
The new Dope UK release date places it in a pretty crowded frame. I personally think it’s got a real summer vibe to it, making more sense to position it accordingly, but Sony presumably doesn’t want to compete with the bigger blockbuster. Instead, it will open alongside Cameron Crowe’s latest, Aloha, starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Rachel McAdams; Lionsgate’s Jane Got a Gun, Gavin O’Connor’s Western starring Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, and Rodrigo Santoro; eOne’s action-thriller, No Escape, with Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, and Pierce Brosnan; and The Transporter Refueled, the rebooted franchise with Ed Skrein taking over from Jason Statham. Here’s to hoping that Sony will be giving it the same kind of strong ad campaign that it’s had in the States to give it wide recognition. I’d love to see it succeed in the UK.
Dope is heading into cinemas wide in the US on June 19th. Its UK release date has now been set for September 4th.