"Doubt" has been given the honor to be the opening movie of AFI FEST 2008. Announced on Thursday, October 23, the movie adaptation from John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play is taking the place left by "The Soloist" earlier due to a significant change done to "Soloist" release date.
About the choosing of "Doubt", AFI FEST artistic director Rose Kuo said, "We are grateful to Miramax Films and producers Scott Rudin and Mark Roybal for providing AFI the honor of premiering this highly anticipated, unfinished version of Doubt. There is no doubt that bringing together Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams in concert with the extraordinary talents of writer/director John Patrick Shanley promises an evening that will celebrate the finest in American film."
On the filmmakers' part, Miramax president Daniel Battsek noted that though the movie is yet to be finished, they are honored with the chance. "The movie is still being finished, but we were so excited to show Doubt and help our friends at AFI FEST and the American Film Institute at the same time," he said, adding, "We couldn't possibly pass up the opportunity."
Addressing religion, morality and authority, "Doubt" is helmed and adapted by playwright John Patrick Shanley. Set against the backdrop of a Bronx Catholic school in 1964, the film highlights on a difficult decision faced by Bronx Catholic school principal when dealing with suspicion that Father Flynn is sexually-abusing a black student. The movie will have its U.S. limited release on December 12.
Meanwhile, the AFI FEST itself will be held from October 30 to November 9 in Los Angeles, California. The event will include tributes to actress Tilda Swinton on November 5, and to director Danny Boyle on November 7. The tributes event will take place at the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood. On Wednesday, October 22, Paramount, DreamWorks and Participant Media have announced in a joint statement that "Soloist" had to be withdrawn from the festival.