‘Last Flag Flying’: Amazon’s New Richard Linklater Joint Looks Like Oscar Potential

Director Richard Linklater has amassed one hell of a resume over the years, ranging from early fare like Slacker and Dazed and Confused to 2014’s ambitious, multiyear project Boyhood. This fall he’s back with Last Flag Flying, a new drama starring Steve Carell as a former veteran who enlists two old Marine buddies to help transport the body of his recently killed soldier son back home for a funeral. And since those friends are played by Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne, Last Flag Flying has the potential to be serious Oscar bait just based on cast alone. Now Amazon has released the first trailer, and that potential is on full display.

Linklater adapted Last Flag Flying from the 2005 novel of the same name, co-writing the screenplay alongside Darryl Ponicsan, the author of the original book. It’s often a good sign when the original writer of a source material gets to take a stab at helping create the movie, and Ponicsan already has some experience with the Hollywood machine. His adapted his 1970 novel The Last Detail into the 1973 film starring Jack Nicholson, and he’s since worked on screenplays for films such as Taps and School Ties.

Amazon Studios is co-distributing Last Flag Flying with Lionsgate. That means it should be hitting the Amazon Prime catalog after its theatrical run. (There’s no official date for that, but expect it to show up streaming sometime in mid to late 2018.) Along with the trailer, Amazon has released the following synopsis for Last Flag Flying:

In 2003, 30 years after they served together in the Vietnam War, former Navy Corps medic Richard “Doc” Shepherd (Steve Carell) re-unites with ex-Marines Sal (Bryan Cranston) and Mueller (Laurence Fishburne) on a different type of mission: to bury Doc’s son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War. Doc decides to forgo burial at Arlington Cemetery and, with the help of his old buddies, takes the casket on a bittersweet trip up the East Coast to his home in suburban New Hampshire. Along the way, Doc, Sal and Mueller reminisce and come to terms with shared experiences of the war that continue to shape their lives. Director Richard Linklater and author Darryl Ponicsan collaborated on the screenplay which follows the trio as they wrestle with the pangs of war both past and present.

Last Flag Flying is scheduled to premiere at the New York Film Festival at the end of September, then hit theaters on November 3.