If you know much of anything about the current film climate, you know that releases can easily get screwed up. Things might go years without receiving any notice from an entity that has the means of putting it into the public; or, worse, a company buys something but still doesn’t actually have the means of (or a genuine interest in) releasing it, thus leaving a picture to languish in purgatory. The Weinstein Company seem to be the latter when it comes to (among several other films) Mikael Håfström‘s Shanghai — or so it must seem when they purchased the rights in 2010.
More than five years after its Chinese release, the film — starring John Cusack as an American Naval Intelligence Officer in Shanghai investigating the death of a friend (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) on the verge of World War II — will be coming to U.S. theaters with little attention, save for a trailer quietly placed online. Easy as it is to be skeptical, this first glimpse doesn’t point toward something especially bad; with lavish production design and supporting work from Chow Yun-fat, Gong Li, and Ken Watanabe placed on top of a knotty-looking mystery, I’m not expecting the worst. All in all, this may be a casualty of one distributor not knowing what to do with a project.
Watch the trailer below:
Shanghai will enter a limited release on August 21, if you actually notice.