The Great Gatsby

Warner Bros.

Christian Bale could be moving up because Leonardo DiCaprio is moving out.

That's one of the possible Oscar-season implications in the unexpected retreat of DiCaprio's The Great Gatsby from its planned Christmas Day release.

"It's a major shakeup," veteran awards-show watcher Tom O'Neil of said Monday.

There was no official explanation for the moving of Gatsby from December to an unspecified summer 2013 date, but Scott Feinberg, lead awards-season blogger and analyst for the Hollywood Reporter, saw potential box-office benefits—and potential Oscar pitfalls.

The summer launch could mean the film, lavish and 3-D though it may be, gets buried, Feinberg said, and with it the performances of its lead actors, DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan, who, at this stage in the game for the 2013 Oscars show, looked like top contenders for Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively.

"She's basically right there, hitting her stride," Feinberg said on Mulligan. "It was potentially her moment. [Now] it's either delayed or not going to happen."

And then there's DiCaprio, still looking for his first Academy Award after a career of big hits and three previous nominations.

"It could be cheating Leonardo DiCaprio out of his long overdue Oscar," O'Neil said.

By Monday afternoon, the prediction charts at GoldDerby had already scrubbed The Great Gatsby from its ranks of contenders. O'Neil saw Mulligan's absence from the Best Actress race as potentially benefiting former winners Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone) and Helen Hunt (The Sessions) and the elementary school-aged Quvenzhané Wallis, of the art-house and possible Best Picture favorite Beasts of the Southern Wild.

In the DiCaprio-free Best Actor category, O'Neil saw improved odds perhaps for The Dark Knight Rises' Bale and Jamie Foxx, who has the title role in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained.

DiCaprio could still make out this coming awards season but in the Best Supporting Actor category, Feinberg said, for his turn in Django Unchained.

Perhaps owing to its top-flight cast and Great American Novel pedigree, Gatsby was one of the Top 10 Best Picture contenders, per the earliest odds from the gaming sites. It was right up there with Anna Karenina and running ahead of The Dark Knight Rises, Django and extreme long shot The Avengers.

Now it's 2014's problem.


UPDATE Sept. 20, 2012: Warners announced that Gatsby will now open May 10, 2013.

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