ENJOY THE SHOW
Briefly: It's official. Steven Spielberg is directing the Ready Player One movie next, adapted from Ernie Cline's bestselling novel about a dystopian future where a video gamer challenges the world to a match of pop culture wits. (I loved the book.) Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures today announced that production is coming together, starting up later this year, and they even have a release date. Warner Bros will open Spielberg's Ready Player One on December 15th, 2017, a little over two years from now. The film is being produced by Spielberg; Donald De Line, under his De Line Pictures banner; Dan Farah; and Spielberg’s longtime colleague Kristie Macosko Krieger; with Bruce Berman serving as executive producer. We'll be hearing much more about this as they begin to cast and start pre-production.
Briefly: Sony Pictures has announced a number of upcoming release dates, confirming and revealing a few new titles across the next four years. Among the titles listed are two sequels we knew were coming, but now they officially have release dates. Bad Boys 3 and 4 are now set for release in 2017 and 2019, respectively. As of reports in June, rumors were that Joe Carnahan was going to write & direct Bad Boys 3, reuniting Will Smith and Martin Lawrence for another outing. Michael Bay may still be involved as a producer, but he's busy off making another Transformers aside from that 13 Hours movie. Well now we know there's definitely two new Bad Boys movies coming, two years apart. I just hope they're worth the long wait and all this hype.
We expected this was coming, we were just waiting for the announcement. Our friends at ERCBoxoffice have confirmed that Warner Bros is delaying Jeff Nichols' big studio sci-fi movie Midnight Special until March of 2016. It was originally scheduled for release on Thanksgiving, November 25th, later this fall. The film is finished and has been test screening all year along, with reports that it needs some additional work surfacing across the internet. Jeff Nichols' (pictured above) Midnight Special, featuring Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Adam Driver, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, will now open on March 18th, 2016 next year.
Briefly: Paramount Pictures has confirmed a release date for the next Richard Linklater film, following Boyhood, which will hit theaters starting early 2016. Announced by THR, the studio has set a release for Linklater's That's What I'm Talking About for April 15th, 2016 next spring. Described as some kind of "spiritual sequel" to Linklater's Dazed & Confused, this film is set in 1980 about an "incoming freshman experiencing his first weekend in college as a pitcher on the school's nationally ranked baseball team." The story follows Blake Jenner ("Glee") as the freshmen pitcher who "finds himself among a hard partying group of baseball players." It was funded by Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures. We've been quite curious about this one ever since Linklater confirmed it was next for him. Stay tuned for the latest release updates.
There's always more. We knew this was coming, it was just a matter of time. Universal has announced a release date of June 22nd, 2018 for the currently untitled Jurassic World sequel. They don't even have a director either, since Colin Trevorrow said he wouldn't be back again after Jurassic World. However, it's likely the story will continue with Chris Pratt's raptor tamer character Owen. Beyond that, details are sparse because the movie is three years away; they just wanted to set a deadline for when it has to be out in theaters (before the buzz dies off). Based on the box office, no one should be worried that it's going to make a boatload of cash as long as they find another director who can wrangle big ass dinosaurs. We'll be waiting.
We have to wait another 7 months until the new Terrence Malick film. Broad Green Pictures has announced release dates for two outstanding films that already premiered at festivals (via The Wrap). First, they'll open Sarah Silverman's I Smile Back, a Sundance drug drama directed by Adam Salky, in theaters on October 23rd this fall (read Ethan's review). The one everyone is anxiously awaiting is Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups, which already premiered at the Berlin Film Festival this year (read my review from Berlinale). Knight of Cups is scheduled for release starting March 4th, 2016 early next year. Not too long of a wait, but it's certainly worth it since this is Malick getting back to form. The film will start limited and go wider in March.
Get ready for the riots. Before Roland Emmerich brings us the new Independence Day: Resurgence sequel, the director will be releasing his indie drama about the 1969 Stonewall riots. Emmerich already shot the film, mostly around Montreal, and it's ready for release this September. Roadside Attractions announced a September 25th release date for Stonewall, starring Jeremy Irvine and newcomer Jonny Beauchamp, with Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ron Perlman. Stonewall is a drama about a fictional young man caught up during the 1969 Stonewall riots, "which became the start of the LGBT rights movement." More info below.
An updated set of release dates from Netflix for their first batch of theatrically released films distributed by Netflix themselves. The digital network is finally breaking into the game of theatrical distribution and will be experimenting with a release strategy of opening in theaters and Netflix at the same time. Some theaters have pushed back already, so exact release plans are still unconfirmed, but the dates are set for a few of their initial projects due out in the next year. Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation, which has been waiting for a release, is now confirmed for October 16th this fall. Adam Sandler's new comedy The Ridiculous Six, which will only be available on Netflix not in theaters, will be released on December 11th later this year.
Briefly: 20th Century Fox has announced a release date shift in their fall schedule, moving up the release of one of our most anticipated movies coming up later this year. Ridley Scott's The Martian has been moved up from Thanksgiving to October 2nd, the same early October slot that Gravity opened in two years ago. The first official trailer just debuted and it looks fantastic, with Matt Damon starring as NASA astronaut Mark Watney, who gets stranded alone on a mission to Mars. The Martian is taking over the release spot for Fox's Victor Frankenstein, starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliff. That film will now be released at Thanksgiving instead. The Martian is the one I'm much more excited about, but both might be worth seeing.
Will she finally be nominated for this one? Find out this fall, when Universal Pictures releases… By the Sea, the new film written & directed by Angelina Jolie Pitt. Yes, that's her actual name now. Jolie Pitt has fully transitioned into being a filmmaker more than anything, but also stars in this one. Written, directed and produced by Angelina Jolie Pitt, the film stars Brad and Angelina as husband and wife staying at a seaside resort in 1970s France. Universal will be releasing By the Sea in theaters starting November 13th, according to Deadline, putting it up against The 33, Rock The Kasbah and Rings that same weekend. We have yet to hear much about this one, but it could build plenty of buzz before then. First photo seen above.
The big screen adaptation of the anime Ghost in the Shell is definitely happening, and Scarlett Johansson was previously confirmed to take the lead role. Back in January, the film had been set for release on April 14th, 2017, but now Disney has decided to bump the film up a couple weeks to March 31st, 2017, likely to get out of the way of Furious 8, which was recently given that release date. For those who don't know, Ghost in the Shell will see Johansson as a female member of a covert ops unit of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission that specializes in fighting technology-related crime. We'll certainly be looking forward to how this anime adaptation from Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders turns out.
Yesterday, Universal announced that the next installment of the Fast & Furious franchise would arrive with Furious 8 hitting theaters on April 14th, 2017, but that's not the only release date news that the studio had in store. They've also announced dates for some forthcoming films like the sequels to Fifty Shades of Grey, and also shifted some films arriving over the next few years, such as the video game adaptation Warcraft from Duncan Jones, the sci-fi sequel Pacific Rim 2 from Guillermo del Toro and the first official movie that kicks off Universal's classic movie monsters franchise reboot, The Mummy. Read on!
Even though the Fast & Furious franchise lost a key part of the film series with the death of Paul Walker, they gave him a wonderful send off in Furious 7, and the film has already grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide. Previously we heard Universal already had plans to keep the franchise going, and with that kind of box office bank, there was no way they were going to let it go. So it's only fitting that the Universal Pictures panel at CinemaCon brought out Vin Diesel to announce that Furious 8 will arrive on April 14th, 2017, keeping the franchise in the spring. But the script still needs to be written, and we don't know who will direct yet either. But this is Hollywood, and release dates come first before having a quality story.
Over the last few years, Disney has been buying a few big studios or partnering with them, between Marvel Studios, Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks and most recently Lucasfilm. This one Hollywood studio now has an incredibly diverse slate, and at their annual presentation during the movie theater owners' convention CinemaCon this week, they included a slide of their upcoming releases through 2017. We already know all of these release dates, so there's nothing new coming from this, but it's cool to see everything presented in this visual way with all of the logos included. Hell of a line-up, from Marvel mania to Star Wars galore, Toy Story 4, two Spielberg films, and even Ghost in the Shell. Take a look + click for bigger. Cue Disney theme.