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Briefly: Even though Michael Keaton didn't win an Oscar for his performance in Birdman, it sounds like The Weinstein Company thinks he's got another chance with his next project The Founder. Keaton is playing Ray Kroc, the salesman from Illinois who picked up a burger operation in 1950s Southern California and turned it into McDonald's, which would become a multi-billion dollar fast-food chain in the world. The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock will be at the helm of the film with a script from Big Fan scribe Robert Siegel, and now THR reports the film has been set for a pretty prime awards season release on November 25th, 2016. We'll certainly be looking forward to seeing this one late next year. Stay tuned.
Briefly: Warner Bros. Pictures is making some changes to their release schedule for next summer. Shane Black's next film, The Nice Guys, starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe has just been bumped up a month to a release on May 20th, 2016. And that's because the studio is giving a prime June 17th, 2016 release to their forthcoming buddy comedy Central Intelligence starring box office draws Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. It sounds like Warner Bros. has a lot of confidence in both films to release them in the blockbuster summer season, but each could be some nice counter-programming to the big tentpoles.
Following yesterday's news that Star Wars: Episode VIII would arrive on May 26th, 2017, bringing the sci-fi saga back to summer where it belongs, 20th Century Fox made a smart decision to move one of their blockbusters out of the way. Though Fantastic Four 2 wasn't hitting theaters until June 2nd, 2017, the studio wants to give Disney (and themselves) another week of box office breathing room by moving the comic book sequel back one week to June 9th, 2017. It's not a big move, but one extra week will give more people time to see Episode VIII without harming the box office gross of Fantastic Four 2, so it's a good call.
With Star Wars: The Force Awakens hitting in December this year, and the first official Star Wars spin-off coming a year later in December of 2016, we've assumed that the winter month would always be the timeframe for new films in the galaxy far, far away to get released. However, StarWars.com has confirmed information from a call between Disney CEO Bob Iger and Disney shareholders where it was revealed that Star Wars: Episode VIII, which has been confirmed to be directed by Looper director Rian Johnson, will arrive on May 26th, 2017. May was previously the month of Star Wars, so the change isn't surprising.
Briefly: "I've decided to write the story down…" Roadside Attractions & Miramax have confirmed a release date for Bill Condon's Mr. Holmes, starring Sir Ian McKellen as an aging Sherlock Holmes. I've been raving about the film ever since I caught the premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, since it really moved me (read my review) and I can't wait for it to hit theaters over here. Roadside will be releasing Mr. Holmes in theaters starting on July 17th this summer, around the same time as Marvel's Ant-Man and Judd Apatow's Trainwreck. Let's hope it doesn't get lost in the mix. It's a gem of a film, about an older Sherlock Holmes struggling with memory loss and aging, who befriends the young son of a caretaker. Watch the first trailer.
Briefly: A random tidbit of release date news to cover today, as this is one of our favorite films of the year and we hope it goes far when it opens in theaters. Fox Searchlight has moved the release date of Sundance Audience Award & Grand Jury winner Me and Earl and the Dying Girl up from July 1st to Friday, June 12th this summer. A few weeks ago, we reported that Me & Earl, starring Thomas Mann & Olivia Cooke, would be opening on July 1st but now it will arrive in select theaters starting almost three weeks earlier (on June 12th). It will still be a platform release, meaning it'll expand to more theaters throughout the summer but some places probably won't play it until July anyway. It's one of the best indie films this year, so it's worth the wait (we both loved it at Sundance). Stay tuned for the trailer and updates from here.
Briefly: One of my favorite films this year (so far) from Sundance has a release date. A24 has set The End of the Tour, directed by James Ponsoldt (Smashed, The Spectacular Now), starring Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg as David Lipsky for limited release starting this July. Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood reports that A24 plans to release The End of the Tour starting July 31st, 2015 before "a long slow build over the summer" instead of the more traditional "fall festival award season rollout". I'm confident that Segel will be talked about for awards all year, so if they're behind him too, then let's roll it out. IFC's Boyhood opened in August of last year after Sundance and ended up six Oscar nominations, plus a Best Supporting Actress win, so anything is possible. We'll keep you updated from here.
Briefly: For anyone out there anticipating either the remake of Poltergeist or the action comedy Spy, you'll want to listen up. 20th Century Fox has just shuffled the release dates for each. First of all, Spy starring Melissa McCarthy (watch two trailers right here) has been pushed just a couple weeks to June 5th later in the summer. And moving up a couple months to take its vacated May 22nd release date will be Gil Kenan's new take on Poltergeist from MGM with Rosemarie DeWitt and Sam Rockwell (check out the two teaser trailers here). Finally, due to the shift in Spy, the adaptation of Paper Towns (based on the book by The Fault in Our Stars author John Green) has been pushed to July 24th. It'll be a busy summer!
Briefly: Fox Searchlight has confirmed (via @ERCboxoffice) a release date for the upcoming indie sensation Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, which won both the Audience Award & Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and won our hearts too. The film earned a top spot on our list of the Best of the Fest, as well as plenty of glowing reviews by the end of the festival. It's definitely going to find an audience outside of the fest, and Fox Searchlight is banking on its success. The studio has scheduled a limited release starting on July 1st, 2015 this summer, which is when they usually open one of their new Sundance gems. We'll be following this release closely as it's one of our favorites, too.
In case you haven't heard yet, Marvel Studios will be co-producing a new Spider-Man franchise for Sony Picutres, and the webslinger will now be part of Marvel's cinematic universe. After Spidey enters the MCU in a forthcoming Marvel Studios film, he'll begin his new franchise with his own film on July 28th, 2017. Some of you may have realized that summer date was the announced release for Thor: Ragnarok when Marvel had their big Phase Three presentation last year, and Marvel has addressed that fact by shifting some of their dates from 2017 onward, beginning with Thor: Ragnarok moving to November 3rd, 2017.
As we've already seen, Universal Pictures is in production on Steve Jobs, the biopic about the titular, late Apple co-founder. Director Danny Boyle has been shooting in California, making use of the real garage where Jobs and partner in technology Steve Wozniak built Apple computers from the ground up, and now Universal has just set a quick release date of October 9th, 2015. That's a little early for awards season buzz, but Gone Girl did the same thing last year and ended up in the Oscar race. Michael Fassbender is playing Jobs while Seth Rogen is playing Wozniak with the script written by Aaron Sorkin. More below!
Briefly: Warner Bros. has set some new holiday release dates according to Box Office Mojo. First up, Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler's Rocky spin-off Creed starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone will arrive pretty quickly with a release date now set for a prime Thanksgiving weekend release on November 25th this fall. In addition, the studio has set another nostalgic project, the reboot of Point Break from director Ericson Core, for a Christmas Day release instead of the previous summer debut. Edgar Ramirez and Luke Bracey star in the remake no one wanted, but we're getting anyway.
Almost a couple years ago, back in the spring of 2013, before Star Wars: The Force Awakens even had a title and the film was still slated rumored for a summer release in 2015, Disney revealed at CinemaCon that they were planning on releasing a new Star Wars film each year, alternating between episodes in the new trilogy and standalone films in between them. Now here we are in 2015, and Star Wars: Episode VII isn't arriving until December 18th this year, followed next year by the first standalone film (which is starting to find a cast already) from director Gareth Edwards. Now we have further confirmation for future plans.
If you've been anxiously awaiting some new/old horror from Paramount Pictures, you'll be waiting a little bit longer. Today the studio shifted around some release dates for Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension and the gestating reboot of Friday the 13th. The sixth film in the found footage horror franchise was slated to arrive in March, but now it's been pushed back into Halloween territory on October 23rd this fall. As for Friday the 13th, the movie will now miss this year's 35th anniversary since it's been pushed to May 13th, 2016. Thankfully that's also Friday the 13th, so it won't lose the novelty release date.