SHUTTER ISLAND pushed back to Feb, 2010.

Word has come out that the film version of Dennis Lehane’s SHUTTER ISLAND has been delayed to Febuary 19, 2010. It had an original release date of October 2nd.

From Oscar®-winning director Martin Scorsese, “Shutter Island” is the story of two U.S. marshals, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), who are summoned to a remote and barren island off the coast of Massachusetts to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a murderess from the island’s fortress-like hospital for the criminally insane.

In addition to Ruffalo and DiCaprio, SI also features Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkeson, Sir Ben Kingsley, Max Von Sydow, Jackie Earle Haley and Emily Mortimer.

I think pretty much everyone out there is taken aback by this move. SI was considered to be Oscar bait, the move obviously eliminates it from award consideration.

The reasons appear to be a combination of a lack of advertising money (it is being reported that the promotion would run 50-60 million) and DiCaprio being unavailable for international promotion.

The head of Paramount, Brad Grey released the following statement:

“”Our 2009 slate was greenlit in a very different economic climate and as a result we must remain flexible and willing to recalibrate and adapt to a changing environment. This is a situation facing every single studio as we all work through the financial pressures associated with the broader downturn. Like every business, we must make difficult choices to maximize our overall success and to best manage Paramount’s business in a way that serves Viacom and its shareholders, while providing the film with every possible chance to succeed both creatively and financially.

“Leonardo DiCaprio is among the most talented actors working today and Martin Scorsese is not just one of the world’s most significant filmmakers, but also a personal friend. Following a highly successful 2009, we have every confidence that Shutter Island is a great anchor to lead off our 2010 slate and the shift in date is the best decision for the film, the studio and ultimately Viacom.”

There is quite a bit of chatter that the move amounts to a bid of no confidence from Paramount. The initial script did get slapped around a bit from onliners, but it is not known if said script was the final draft. Many seem to think that Paramount is moving it to give the promotion push to films it has more faith in.

Credit goes to Nikki Finke for first breaking the story.