Famed director David O. Russell has set his next project. Amsterdam, a murder mystery period thriller, will hit theaters this November. Russell will direct, write the screenplay, and produce the film.
Russell began his film career with a string of dark comedies in the late 1990s and early 2000s, such as Spanking the Monkey, Flirting with Disaster, Three Kings, and I Heart Huckabees. While not hugely successful at the box office, they received mostly positive critical reviews. In the early 2010s, Russell shifted to more comedy-drama features, releasing The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle. All three were critically and commercially successful, with Russell also receiving a Best Director Academy Award nomination for each. His biographical comedy-drama Joy netted him a Golden Globe nomination.
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Now, Russell hopes to achieve that same level of success with Amsterdam, his first film since Joy in 2015. With that in mind, let’s look at everything we know about the iconic director’s next feature. What can we expect to see plot-wise, and will it contain any of Russell’s signature elements? What names have been lined up in the cast? When and where can we see the film upon release? And what else should audiences know about David O. Russell’s Amsterdam?
Amsterdam: The Plot
20th Century Studios
Few details have been released about the plot. We do know that it is a period film, with the vibes reportedly evoking that of American Hustle, another of Russell’s period pieces. More details were revealed at CinemaCon in April with an exclusive trailer.
Despite the sprawling ensemble cast (more on that to come), the film centers on just three lead characters, a doctor, a nurse, and an attorney. The three are veterans who meet in the early 20th century in Belgium. They all have some secret to hide, as they swore a pact to protect each other no matter what. The trailer also revealed a dead body in a coffin, suggesting that the three are involved with a murder or suspicious death in some way.
This is all that was pieced together from the reveal at CinemaCon. There has been little additional information about what audiences can expect. Due to the large cast, we can likely expect that the three leads will encounter a variety of colorful characters throughout the story. All that we can do is wait for additional plot information, which will likely be revealed closer to the release date.
Amsterdam: The Cast
The film will feature a massive ensemble cast with some of Hollywood’s biggest names. The cast of Amsterdam includes Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Zoe Saldana, Mike Myers, Timothy Olyphant, Michael Shannon, Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Taylor Swift, Andrea Riseborough, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alessandro Nivola, and Robert de Niro. Washington’s role originally had Michael B. Jordan attached, though he dropped out due to COVID-related scheduling issues and delays. Frequent Russell collaborator Jennifer Lawrence was also considered for Robbie’s role, with Jamie Foxx in contention for Jordan’s.
This marks Bale’s third leading role in a Russell project, after previously appearing in The Fighter and American Hustle. Additionally, de Niro had roles in Silver Linings Playbook, Joy, and an uncredited cameo in American Hustle.
We do not yet know the exact roles of the cast members, though Bale, Robbie, and Washington are likely playing the three leads. Casting announcements seem to support this theory. The three stars received top billing, and Bale and Robbie were the first names attached to the then-untitled project alongside Michael B. Jordan (before his replacement by Washington). An image of Bale, Robbie, and Washington together was also released at CinemaCon, seeming to confirm this theory.
However, in the scene with the coffin, Bale is reportedly standing with Chris Rock and Taylor Swift’s characters. Rock is talking with Bale about who may get in trouble for the death, so perhaps his character may instead be one of the leads. If not a lead, he may be a close ally or someone working with the leads.
De Niro is questioning the three about their past in the trailer, so his character may be some sort of detective or investigator. Of course, no roles have been confirmed. We will likely get a better idea of the leads when the exclusive trailer is released to the public.
David O. Russell’s Amsterdam will be theatrically released in the United States on November 4, 2022. That fall slot will place it amid prime award ceremony season. If the film is as critically and commercially successful as Russell’s past works, it could land the director another Oscar nomination and potentially his first win.