Oscars 2019: Universal Studios bags bragging rights to ‘First Man,’ ‘Green Book,’ ‘Welcome to Marwen’

Last year Universal brought the blockbuster “Get Out” to the Oscars where it prevailed with one of its four bids (Best Original Screenplay). This year, the studio has three strong contenders, one of which reunites “La La Land” writer/director Damien Chazelle with that film’s leading man Ryan Gosling.

They are making “First Man,” the first film to chronicle the life and times of Neil Armstrong, the astronaut who was the first to walk on the moon. It will take one small step for man and one giant leap into theaters on October 12, 2018, right in the midst of the fall awards season.

“La La Land” reaped a record-tying 14 Oscar bids in 2017 and won six including Best Director for Chazelle but infamously fell short of Best Picture in the envelope mix-up heard ’round the world. Gosling earned a Best Actor nomination, as he also did 10 years prior for his role as a drug addicted teacher in “Half Nelson” (2006), but he has yet to win an Oscar. However, this is his best chance yet, since he’ll be playing a real-life heroic figure and we know how much the academy loves to reward those.

Below, detailed listings of each of the studio’s Oscar contenders, including release dates, creative types, cast lists, running times, plot summaries,  and receptions both critical and commercial.

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“First Man” (Universal) – October 12
Director: Damien Chazelle
Writer: Josh Singer (based on “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” by James R. Hansen)
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Patrick Fugit, Ciaran Hinds, Ethan Embry, Shea Whigham, Corey Stoll, Pablo Schreiber

Summary: The film chronicles the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

SEE Oscars invite 928 new members in 2018: Complete list by branch (and 2014-2017 totals too)

“Green Book” (Universal) – November 21
Director: Peter Farrelly
Writer: Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini

Summary: A bouncer at a New York nightclub takes a job as a pianist’s chauffeur during a tour in the Deep South.

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“Welcome to Marwen” (Universal) – December 21
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Robert Zemeckis; story by Caroline Thompson and Zemeckis
Cast: Steve Carell, Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger, Merritt Wever, Janelle Monáe, Eiza González, Gwendoline Christie

Summary: Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell), a victim of a violent assault, constructs a miniature World War II village in his yard to help in his recovery.

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