Tuesday, August 9, 2016
To The Globe: 'The Croods 2' Now a Universal Release
It seems like the cavemen have been taken from the searchlights to the globe...
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news...
The Croods 2 still doesn't have a concrete 2018 release date, and it is still technically labelled a Fox film because the acquisition has yet to finalize. When it does, The Croods 2 will finally be billed as a Universal-DreamWorks release. So it's the first picture to be ported, contradicting earlier reports indicating that another DreamWorks film - Larrikins - was going to be the first to shift.
With the deal finalizing either at the end of the month or sometime next month, Universal can't quite say what's going on with DreamWorks or say which films are on their slate, THR explained. The article also has this interesting tidbit...
"The three other DWA movies that will still go through Fox are Trolls (Nov. 4), Boss Baby (March 31, 2017) and Captain Underpants (June 2, 2017), although insiders say there were discussions about moving the latter to Universal/NBCU."
Also, why no mention of Larrikins? Or How To Train Your Dragon 3 for that matter? Is that going to shift to Universal, too? I guess this transition is going to be slow until everything is all settled, but it's interesting that of all the features in the works at the moon boy house, Croods 2 was the first one to "officially" move. So I guess that's it... The Fox pact ends with Captain Underpants next summer. Earlier than I had imagined!
I suspect when it all goes down, we'll get our new dates for The Croods 2 and Larrikins, and maybe even dates for Shadows and Shrek 5. According to some more recent reports, DreamWorks plans to have those two particular pictures out in 2019.
Interestingly enough, The Boss Baby is the only in-house DreamWorks animated film that is being released next year, Captain Underpants was mostly done up at Mikros Image. Why's that? Captain Underpants isn't going to be a $120 million-costing film, the studio wanted the budget dialed down significantly on that one. I wonder if this will lead to future, cheaper, foreign co-productions. Head of Universal's animation powerhouse Illumination, Chris Meledandri, is all about that. Every Illumination film has costed less than $80 million to make, and the animation for each film was all done at the French house Mac Guff, which Uni/Illumination bought.
Speaking of which... A while back, DreamWorks had announced that their Chinese wing was working on an original animated picture of their own. We were supposed to get the title, release date, and cast for that project last year... But nothing came of it. Is that mystery film still on? Does DreamWorks plan to wait for the whole acquisition to close and then say more about it? What about the few live-action films the Chinese studio is working on?
That all being said, now that The Croods 2 is going to be released some time in 2018, will the change effect the two other 2018 DreamWorks releases? I think How To Train Your Dragon 3 will remain in the spring 2018 slot, because it's been delayed so many times before. They wanted it out in summer of this year, then it moved to summer 2017, then to 2018... So another push back would just hurt. I think Larrikins - currently sitting in a dodgy 2/16/2018 slot - is going to be the one to move. It'll join Shrek 5. Shadows will then be released in 2020. What sequel will open in 2020? The plan - for the most part - is to release an original and a sequel every year, right? I guess Madagascar 4. If not, then... I don't know... Puss in Boots 2? Home 2? A Kung Fu Panda spin-off?
As for The Croods 2, I suspect Universal will stake out a solid first-quarter date for it. Can't move it too far back, as the first Croods will be five in March 2018! How time flies.
What do you think? Do you think those unmentioned DreamWorks films have been ported to Universal? Sound off below!