Release Date Changes: The Road, The Soloist, Defiance, Sherlock Holmes And The Orphan

Paramount has made a surprise decision to move the Robert Downey Jr / Jamie Foxx film The Soloist back to March 13th 2009. The film was originally scheduled to hit theater in late November, just in time for Award consideration. Paramount was pressured by Viacom to cut costs for the fourth quarter of 2008, and The Soloist was cut. Apparently the film isn't testing well anyways. [Variety, Wells]

As a result, the studio will now be pushing Robert Downey Jr. for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as "the dude playin' the dude, disguised as another dude" in Tropic Thunder. But will the Academy seriously consider Downey Jr's performance as a method actor who becomes black for a movie role? [Firstshowing]

The Weinstein Co has (not so) quietly shifted the Viggo Mortensen apocalyptic thriller The Road from it's scheduled Novemeber 14th release date, back to at least December, if not 2009. Executives are scheduled to meet with the film's producer's on Thursday to discuss if the film will be released this year. [THR]

Paramount is also delaying the Paramount Vantage Edward Zwick-directed Daniel Craig-starrer WWII film Defiance until December 31st. The film was oriignally scheduled to hit theaters on December 12th. The new date will allow the film to qualify for award consideration. [deadline]

And Warner Bros has given Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes a release date: November 20th 2009. The studio has also shifted the Jaume Collet-Serra thriller The Orphan to July 24th 2009. [SHH and Shock]