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Briefly: Just after Thanksgiving, we learned Judd Apatow's next film would be a starring vehicle for comedian Amy Schumer called Train Wreck. Now Universal has set the film in the super-packed release year of 2015. The studio has announced that the new comedy will hit theaters on July 24th, 2015, making it the first film to stake a claim on that date. However, it does come out between Warner Bros. Batman vs. Superman on July 17th and Marvel's Ant-Man on July 31st, which are both big players. Of course, a comedy is good counter-programming for anyone who doesn't care about comic book flicks. Schumer stars in the film as a complete basket case trying to rebuild her life with her boyfriend, best friend and parent in tow.
After releasing indies like The Spectacular Now, The Bling Ring and Spring Breakers, the young A24 distribution company has just set dates for a few films that have already made the festival rounds. Enemy, the TIFF-selected first collaboration of Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve and Jake Gyllenhaal, will arrive on March 14th; the Telluride selected, seductive, psychological horror Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johansson will arrive on April 4th; and the real-time thriller Locke (hitting Sundance this month after premiering at Venice) starring Tom Hardy lands April 25th. More details on the films below.
Briefly: We already know the action sequel The Raid 2: Berandal (which may drop that subtitle here in the United States) will premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Luckily for audiences in the United States, they won't have to wait too much longer to see the film from writer and director Gareth Evans on the big screen. Sony Pictures Classics and Stage 6 Films have announced that they will release the sequel in the US on March 28th. We've already seen one teaser trailer, and for those just joining us, it picks up right where the first film left off and follows Rama (Iko Uwais) as he goes undercover and infiltrates the ranks of a ruthless Jakarta crime syndicate to protect his family and uncover the corruption in his own police force.
Following the sad and unexpected death of Fast & Furious franchise star Paul Walker, the fate of next year's sequel Fast & Furious 7 was in question as the studio delayed production of the film indefinitely in order to let Walker's friends and family grieve and then figure out how to proceed. There have been rumblings that the studio could start from scratch and scrap Walker's scenes altogether, but Universal has confirmed that he will remain a prominent cast member in the sequel, and they have pushed back the release to April 10th, 2015, adding it to the crazy calendar of blockbusters already set for release. In addition, Vin Diesel actually broke this news with a bittersweet photo from the set of the sequel. Look now!
Briefly: Magnolia Pictures has confirmed official US release dates and details for Lars von Trier's already-controversial Nymphomaniac, the sexual biopic starring Charlotte Gainsbourg. The film is first hitting theaters in Denmark at the end of this month, leading into 2014. Magnolia says Nymphomaniac: Part 1 will open in US theaters on March 21st, 2014, hitting VOD earlier on March 6th. A month later, Part 2 will open in theaters on April 18th, 2014, also hitting VOD earlier on April 3rd. This should cause quite a stir. I expect the film community to be abuzz with Nymphomaniac chatter throughout March and April. Part 1 deals with her adolescence and young-adulthood; Part 2 tells the story of Joe's adulthood. First trailer here.
When Disney announced they were sending Star Wars: Episode VII to theaters on December 18th. 2015, many wondered when Universal was going to move Legendary's adaptation of Warcraft to get out of the way of the sci-fi giant. Now the studio has made the right call and will release the film on March 11th, 2016 instead. That's a smart move, not only because there's not really anything schedule for 2016 other than a Marvel movie, The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and some other blockbusters, but this pretty much guarantees the film will dominate in the spring slot. In addition, the studio also announced release dates for some other upcoming projects, in addition to a new release date for the delayed fantasy The Seventh Son.
Briefly: "Bring on the fun bags." Paramount will be releasing the highly anticipated sequel Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues two days early in December, right on time for the holidays. The new Anchorman will now open on Wednesday, December 18th, moving up two days ahead of its original December 20th release. Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell & Dave Koechner return to take New York's first 24-hour news channel by storm. Ron Burgundy, the man himself, will also be hosting ESPN's SportsCenter on December 5th at 6PM for those interested. Paramount also just released an app called "Scotchy Scotch Toss" for iOS. Can't wait to see this! We'll be in theaters this holiday season catching up with Ron Burgundy and friends.
Briefly: Relativity has announced and confirmed a release date for the film Jane Got a Gun, an action-western directed by Gavin O'Connor starring Natalie Portman. The production has been troubled, with big delays and creative issues with the previous director, Lynne Ramsay. Actors walked off of set, everything was temporarily shut down, but eventually they got a crew together to finish and filming wrapped. Despite all the troubles, Relativity Media is still planning to release the film and has officially set an August 29th, 2014 late summer release next year (same day as horrors The Loft & Jessabelle). Synopsis: A woman asks her ex-lover for help in order to save her outlaw husband from a gang out to kill him. Stay tuned for more.
Briefly: It's time for one more film to join the 2015 calendar. Disney is already releasing Star Wars: Episode VII, The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, amongst some other titles, but now they've also announced that The Jungle Book will hit theaters on October 9th, 2015, with confirmation that Jon Favreau will direct the film based on Rudyard Kipling's classic book. It's the first film to be scheduled for October 2015, so it has no competition yet. In addition, the studio has looked even further into the future to set Alice in Wonderland 2 for release on May 27th, 2016. Both Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp will be back with James Bobin (The Muppets) taking over directing duties from Tim Burton. That's all for right now.
Briefly: It looks like we now have an actual release date. Its being reported by BoxOfficeMojo that Warner Bros has set a May 15th, 2015 summer release date for George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road, the return of Mad Max, starring Tom Hardy as the new Mad Max. We've been following this sequel for many years, as it was shot down in Africa back in 2012 but has been stuck in post-production hell ever since, with extensive reshoots and more over the last few years. 2015 is already becoming one of the most exciting years for movies in a while, with the new Star Wars, Avengers and Jurassic Park movies on the docket already. Hopefully this is finally confirmation that we may finally see this new Mad Max within two years anyway.
Earlier this month, we learned that James DeMonaco was returning to write and direct a sequel to The Purge, this year's high concept horror thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey. Produced by Paranormal Activity and Insidious franchise's Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Production banner on a budget of $3 million, the film went on to make nearly $90 million. Now Universal has announced that The Purge 2, which is just beginning production next month, has a release date of June 20th, 2014. That's a quick turnaround, but the first film was cheap, so it doesn't require a long post-production period. Read on!
Briefly: After 20 years of waiting, Dumb & Dumber To is a reality, and we've seen evidence from the first look pictures that Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels posted online (not to mention the return of Billy in 4C). Now Universal has announced that the comedy sequel will arrive on November 14th, 2014, hitting the big screen just three weeks before the actual 20th anniversary (the original film arrived on December 16th, 1994). Peter and Bobby Farrelly are directing again with new cast members like Rob Riggle, Kathleen Turner and Laurie Holden joining in the fun. Will it live up to the hype? We'll find out late next year.
Briefly: Shortly after Insidious: Chapter 2 landed the #1 spot at the box office back in September, Film District, eOne & Sony announced they were planning on making Insidious: Chapter 3. Now that Focus Features has taken over FilmDistrict, THR repports new CEO Peter Schlessel has decided to release the next chapter in the horror franchise on April 3rd, 2015. Director James Wan started the franchise with writer Leigh Whannell, who will return to write the sequel. However, since Wan recently said he was done with horror films, we're wondering who will get in the director's chair, and which cast members will return too.
In Back to the Future Part II, it was comedically predicted that Jaws 19 would be in theaters in the year 2015. Obviously, that won't be happening in the next two years, but 2015 is already becoming one of the most crowded years for blockbusters in recent memory. The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Batman vs. Superman, Tomorrowland, Fantastic Four, Ted 2, Terminator 5, Ant-Man, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II, Pixar's The Good Dinosaur, Assassin's Creed and Jurassic World are just some of the titles. Now we can add one more to the mix as Mission: Impossible 5 will arrive December 25th, 2015.