Thursday, June 13, 2013

Disney Slate Update: Marvel, Muppets, Planes & More!

Disney has once again changed their upcoming slate, but this change doesn't affect releases from Walt Disney Animation Studios or Pixar. The details are here thanks to Box Office Mojo and /Film...

The big news here is that two untitled Marvel productions have been slated for May 6, 2016 and May 5, 2017. Marvel usually takes the first Friday of May for most of their films (the Iron Man films, The Avengers and its sequel, Thor), and I guess Star Wars spin-offs are opening in theaters in both May 2016 and May 2017.

What will be ready? For the May 2016 film, probably Doctor Strange, though in my recent set of predictions, I thought that the film would come a month early since Marvel has locked the early April 2014 spot for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I was thinking that Disney would release Marvel movies in April to distance them from any Lucasfilm productions (i.e the Star Wars spin-offs, since Disney wants at least one Star Wars film a year), but it looks like Disney is okay with releasing both a Marvel film and a Lucasfilm production in the same month. That is, if Lucasfilm follows the mid-May tradition for everything they release.

Oddly enough, no other Marvel production is slated for a 2016 release. This implies that Marvel may produce one film a year after 2015, but maybe we'll hear more in the coming months. I can't see Marvel ditching the 2-film-a-year strategy anytime soon since the momentum is still there. Speaking of Lucasfilm, no date for Star Wars: Episode VII yet! But I think we all know what it will be...

Yep, Ricky Gervais is going to be in this.

Some minor changes were made to one 2013 release and two 2014 releases...

Brad Bird's Tomorrowland has been moved a week forward. The film will now open on December 12, 2014... Good. The only thing that stands in its way is the finale to Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy, but something tells me that this Bird-directed sci-fi will overshadow the hobbits since the first one did very well, but didn't perform like a titan. In addition to George Clooney, Hugh Laurie and Raffey Cassiday, Thomas Robinson has now been cast. It'll be fun to track this one, since the marketing will be decidedly enigmatic!

The Muppets... Again! is now Muppets Most Wanted. Not really sure about that title, to be honest. It may fit in with the plot, but I think it sounds a bit awkward. What do you think of it? The release date is still the same: March 21, 2014.

This December's Disney film, Saving Mr. Banks, has also been moved a week forward. The film opens on December 13, 2013.

More films have been scheduled for release in 2014...

The first of which is Planes: Fire and Rescue, which opens on July 18th... I was hoping that this spin-off franchise wouldn't be a theatrical thing. I was already not to thrilled with the fact that Planes was getting a theatrical release, this will only cause more confusion since a lot of people assume that the series was made by Pixar. Like I need to hear any more "Planes? What are you doing, Pixar?!" complaints. Anyways, Disney is apparently very confident in the first film. After all, it probably didn't cost much to make being a DisneyToon Studios production, but I'll be surprised if it makes much more than $100 million at the domestic box office.

Opening on August 8th is a project I've never heard of before: The Hundred-Foot Journey. A Touchstone/DreamWorks production, the film is based on a book by Richard C. Morais. It's about an Indian boy living in Paris who becomes the apprentice for a chef that's a rival to his father.

This one was announced last year: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. An adaptation of the children's book of the same name where a boy's family has a bad day thanks to him wishing they'd experience his daily problems, this might go the way of The Odd Life of Timothy Green... It just screams unspectacular to me. However, The Jim Henson Company is working on it so there might be something interesting about it. Steve Carrell and Jennifer Garner will be in it, and Cedar Rapids director Miguel Arteta will direct. The film is set to open on October 10, 2014.

Into The Woods will arrive on Christmas Day. I had initially predicted that it would be Disney's March 2015 release, but apparently it'll be ready by the end of next year. The Rob Marshall-directed production stars quite the cast, too: Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep. This ought to be a big success for Disney, though it's being released a little too close to Tomorrowland.

A total of 13 films from the Mouse House (including Marvel and Touchstone/DreamWorks films) will now be coming to theaters in 2014! I guess Disney really does want to bang 14-15 films out a year! Now I'll have to update my predictions...

What's your on this news? What do you think of Planes' sequel getting a theatrical release? Are you interested in any of the live action films that Disney has planned for 2014? Or not? What do you of think the new title for the Muppets sequel?

Sound off below!

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