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Nine Days - What We Know So Far

What does it mean to have a soul? What's the purpose of life? These were just a couple of the questions at the heart of Pixar's "Soul." It's a deep, philosophically rich film that has a way of striking your heart chords in a way some people may not expect. If you couldn't get enough of the existential movie, then you're in luck because there's another film on the horizon that explores the concept of souls. 

"Nine Days" takes place in an ethereal realm where a judge of souls decides who ultimately gets to Earth. It's the debut feature film of director Edson Oda, and it already made waves with critics after its premiere at Sundance in 2020. Just take it from Ty Burr of The Boston Globe, who wrote, "More than anything, 'Nine Days' feels wholly original. It's proof that moviegoing magpies can still find one-of-a-kind baubles if they look long enough."

Fortunately, it won't be long until everybody has the chance to check out this masterclass in filmmaking. 

What's the release date for Nine Days?

"Nine Days" has undergone a bit of reshuffling since it premiered at Sundance at the beginning of 2020. After Sony Pictures Classics acquired the rights to the movie, the production company set a release date for January 22, 2021. However, due to the fact many theaters remained closed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, that date had to change. It now appears as though the film will drop in the summer of 2021 (via Variety). 

The exact date you can watch it depends on where in the United States you live. "Nine Days" will have a limited release starting on July 30, where it will initially play in select theaters in Los Angeles and New York City. A week later, on August 6, the film will have a wide release where you can watch it in other parts of the country (via Deadline). 

Waiting until people could see the movie in a crowded theater was of the utmost importance to Sony. In a statement published by Variety, the company said, "'Nine Days' is an important movie that was always meant to be seen on the big screen first, so (we decided) to move the date back to a time when we hope more theaters are open safely and people are more comfortable returning to theaters." With words of praise like that, "Nine Days" promises to be worth the wait. 

Who's in the cast for Nine Days?

When reading through the various reviews out there currently for "Nine Days," it's clear that Winston Duke, who portrays the arbiter of souls, is the main attraction. His character ultimately decides which souls get sent to Earth. As Eric Kohn of IndieWire states, "The movie provides a remarkable showcase for Duke's range, a world apart from the dopey dad of 'Us' or stern warrior of 'Black Panther,' and his talent only becomes more central as the character opens himself up."

Kohn also praises the work done in the film by Zazie Beetz, who plays one of the souls vying for a spot on Earth. As he mentions, "Beetz brings a credible degree of skepticism to her individualist mindset." That's just the beginning of the immense talent on display with "Nine Days," as the cast also includes Benedict Wong ("Doctor Strange"), Tony Hale ("Arrested Development"), Bill Skarsgård ("It"), and Arianna Ortiz ("This Is Us"). 

What's the plot of Nine Days?

The trailer for "Nine Days" establishes how the movie takes place in an ethereal realm. It materializes the concept of where our souls are before they become born into a new body, not unlike what the Great Before was in Pixar's "Soul." The main difference is that this reality consists of a barren landscape inhabited by Will (Duke), a judge who must decide which soul gets the chance to go to Earth. 

He encounters five souls throughout this process. As each soul begins to learn about what actual life is like, their personalities emerge, with some seeing the beauty life holds. Meanwhile, others can only focus on the darkest aspects of existence. 

With overwhelmingly positive reviews combined with the film winning the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance 2020, "Nine Days" should absolutely be on your watch list. It promises to be much more thought-provoking than the usual blockbuster fare that comes out in the summer, so get ready for a mystical journey.