When you have a film with  Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, Ciaran Hinds, Jessica Chastain and Martin Csokas you expect it to hit theaters. When it’s directed by Shakespeare in Love‘s John Madden, and written by Mathew Vaughn and Jane Goldman it seems like something of a powehouse. And yet The Debt has sat around for at least a year. Festival screenings can kill anything. Though this may had to do with Miramax (the film’s home) being scuttled by Walt Disney studios. Take a look at the trailer…

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The first trailer for this film premiered last summer, and this is a subtle variation on that. The film played some festival screenings, and didn’t great notices. Perhaps the film isn’t as good as the 2007 Israeli film it’s based on.

Originally Miramax had it up for an end of year/Academy launch, but that was likely scuttled when it didn’t get traction. Focus is putting it out August 31, which is in fall enough to be considered an award launch, but also tends to suggest no confidence. Focus launched The American around that time and was able to turn that in to an off-season win. Perhaps that’s possible here.

Do you remember seeing the trailer for this last year?