Now that the summer is here, film fans are starting to get a clearer sense of what to expect come next year’s award season. One of the big films to look out for is the Korean War epic Devotion from director J.D. Dillard. The Jonathan Majors-starring film released its first trailer back in May, and originally had a release date set for October 28, but now Sony Pictures has moved the film’s wide release to November 23. This places the war film in the heart of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
The film is based on true events depicted in the best-selling novel by Adam Makos titled Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice, which follows two of the Navy’s most celebrated fighter pilots during a deadly struggle during the Korean War. No reason was given for the film’s new date, but this could be a sign that Sony has a lot of confidence in Devotion, given how packed November is. It’s a project that features a great ensemble cast, with Majors coming off his amazing performances in Lovecraft Country and The Harder They Fall, while co-star Glen Powell is riding high off the billion dollar success of Top Gun: Maverick, a film that also saw Powell play a pilot at the top of his class. The film’s cast also includes Christina Jackson, Thomas Sadoski, and Joe Jonas.
Devotion now enters a crowded November film slate which features major releases like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and David O. Russall’s Amsterdam. However, specifically on Thanksgiving weekend, the war epic is opening against Steven Spielberg’s The Fablemans, Disney’s Strange World, and Michael B. Jordan’s Creed 3. And that’s just in theaters, as Disney’s Disenchanted is also premiering on Disney+ that same holiday weekend. With an insanely stacked line up of films like that, someone will lose the weekend, but audiences can’t seem to resist a good war film.
Some of the best films of the last half century have been stories in this intense action-packed genre. Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Glory, Saving Private Ryan, Dunkirk, 1917…the award-winning list goes on and on. It remains to be seen if Devotion will join those historic films, but this upcoming war film has the pieces to succeed in one way or another. The previously released trailer teased intriguing dog fighting action, impressive visuals, and a thematically rich friendship between two pilots. If films like Top Gun have taught us anything, it’s that audiences will eat those kinds of well told bromances up.
In a November that features another potential Spielberg gem and the next Disney animated feature, Devotion could be the sleeper hit of the upcoming holiday season. It could very well be an award contender. Only time will tell, but while we wait for Devotion to fly into theaters on November 23, you can watch the previously released trailer for the film down below.