ENJOY THE MOVIES
Briefly: Fox Searchlight has announced an official release date for Nate Parker's feature directorial debut, and the Sundance Film Festival double award winner, The Birth of a Nation, starring Nate Parker. The film will open in theaters "nationwide" (that's what it says!) on October 7th, 2016 later this fall. Parker plays Nat Turner, a former slave that organizes an uprising movement in 1831 to free African-Americans in Virgina. The cast includes Armie Hammer, Aunjanue Ellis, Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union, Penelope Ann Miller and Aja Naomi King. The film won both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in January, and was picked up by Fox Searchlight in a record-setting deal. Check back soon for any trailers.
Two release dates have been announced for two of our most anticipated movies coming up in the next few years. First up, the action sequel John Wick 2 has been scheduled for release starting on February 10th, 2017 - a little less than a year from now. The film has already finished shooting, partially in New York City, and apparently the plot takes Keanu Reeves to Rome to kick some more ass. Stuntman Chad Stahelski from the first one is back again to direct this one. Next up, Warner Bros has officially set a release date for Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner sequel, untitled now, known simply as Blade Runner 2. That movie will open on January 12th, 2018, a few weeks after Episode VIII hits theaters in late 2017. I'm very excited for both.
We've been waiting to see something for this one! Roadside Attractions is releasing Tom Tykwer's new film A Hologram for the King and has set an April release date. But we still have yet to see a trailer or much else. The film has been scheduled for release on April 22nd, and along with that news a batch of first look photos (and a new German poster for now) have been unveiled. A Hologram for the King stars Tom Hanks as a failed American businessman who flies to Saudi Arabia to try and sell his idea to a wealthy monarch, based on the book by Dave Eggers. Sounds good. We'll be keeping an eye on this one leading up to release.
Briefly: This is exactly what we expected, and it's good to see Warner Bros making a smart move. WB has shifted and pushed back the release date of Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One adaptation from its original slot in December 2017 to spring of 2018 - specifically March 30th, 2018. This is mainly because Disney recently changed the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII (being directed by Rian Johnson) back to December 15th, 2017 (from May) - which was the exact same day that Ready Player One was originally set for release. It's always hard to tell whether Spielberg will make his release anyway, but this is just a big sigh of relief because there would be no point in seeing WB and Disney go head-to-head with these two massive sci-fi / fan-oriented projects. I'm excited to see both Star Wars and Ready Player One - three months apart.
Briefly: After the big news this week that Star Wars: Episode VIII was being pushed back from May to December 2017, all of the other studios have to check and make sure none of their releases are threatened. The ultimate showdown was going to be between Episode VIII and James Cameron's Avatar 2, which was being talked about for Christmas 2017 release. Just as of a few weeks ago, Cameron was saying it was still headed for Christmas. However, The Wrap is now confirming that the studio is no longer planning a 2017 release anymore, and maybe be aiming for 2018 or 2019 but they're still not sure yet. Nothing is confirmed or set yet by 20th Century Fox, but this is what we expected to hear after the Star Wars release date change.
Briefly: It's official - Disney has moved the release date of Star Wars: Episode VIII from May 2017 to December 2017. The highly-anticipated sequel to The Force Awakens, being directed by Rian Johnson, was originally scheduled by Lucasfilm/Disney for May 26th, 2017. Now it has been rescheduled for release on December 15th, 2017. This puts it in line with the December release for The Force Awakens and the December release for Rogue One later this year. This also now pits Episode VIII to open head-to-head against James Cameron's Avatar 2, which is supposed to open Christmas 2017. A few other studios have shifted 2017 releases in response. The fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie will take over Star Wars' slot.
Oh boy. 2017 is shaping up to be a very big year between Episode VIII, Justice League, War for the Planet of the Apes. In December of 2017, they'll be pitting James Cameron's Avatar 2 against Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One adaptation. The next Star Wars movie is already confirmed for May of 2017, and now Cameron has confirmed that Avatar 2 is headed for release in December of 2017. It was initially reported in January that Cameron was delaying the release until 2017 giving them more time to work on the scripts and put plans together. This is going to be a brand new Avatar trilogy, with new ones coming every year.
Briefly: Some great news for Tarantino fans anxiously awaiting his new film! The Weinstein Company has officially moved up the theatrical nationwide release of The Hateful Eight, Tarantino's eight feature film, to New Years Day - January 1st, 2016. It will initially open for a limited release on December 25th, Christmas Day, in a few bigger markets like New York and Los Angeles. There will also be the 70mm roadshow version, which will start playing at the end of December and expand to different 70mm-equiped cinemas throughout January. The Hateful Eight is a 3-hour long western set mostly in a cabin during a blizzard, where eight bounty hunters (including Kurt Russell, Samuel Jackson, Walton Goggins & Jennifer Jason Leigh) are stuck. See the official trailer here - and catch the film in theaters sooner than you know it.
Briefly: Shyamalan's new thriller has a date for early 2017. Over at The Wrap, they report that Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions have set a release for M. Night Shyamalan's Split on January 20th, 2017. Split is written and directed by Shyamalan, following up his return to low budget films The Visit this year, and is supposedly a "suspense thriller with elements of the supernatural". Other than that, there's no plot info available. The cast includes James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Jessica Sula and Haley Lu Richardson. There's already a lot of other weird horror scheduled for January 2017 between the delayed Friday the 13th reboot, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, plus Power Rangers and The Dark Tower movie. I'm curious what exactly Shyamalan's Split means - maybe split personality? McAvoy would be a great pick.
He's back! This is the year Michael Moore returns with a new documentary, titled Where to Invade Next, another look at some of America's problems. The doc just premiered at the Toronto and New York Film Festivals, receiving rave reviews from critics the world over. We also announced last month that a brand new indie distributor will be releasing the doc. Tom Quinn, Jason Janego and Tim League announced today that they will be releasing Michael Moore's new "comedy" Where To Invade Next in New York and Los Angeles starting on December 23rd, followed by a nationwide opening on January 15th via their "new, clandestine and as-yet-unnamed distribution label". I highly recommend seeing this doc when it's playing.
More sequels - oh no! Disney and Pixar have confirmed and announced release dates through 2019 for their upcoming slate of animated movies. The studio headed to social media to post an image showing the early teaser posters for all of the upcoming movies, along with release dates for each one. The Good Dinosaur hits theaters this year, followed by Finding Dory arriving June 17th, 2016 next summer. From there it's Cars 3 arriving June 16th, 2017 then their original Day of the Dead movie Coco opening on November 22nd, 2017. Then Toy Story 4 hits on June 15th, 2018 before The Incredibles 2 arrives June 21st, 2019.
Ready for Phase 3? Marvel has officially announced a few minor details about its plans for Phase 3, coming up beginning in 2016. First off, the studio has confirmed via Marvel.com that they are planning an Ant-Man sequel and it will be titled Ant-Man and the Wasp. "The sequel will mark the first Marvel Studios film named after its heroine." Both Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne will return in that sequel, scheduled for July 6th, 2018. With this announcement, the two other Marvel movies scheduled for 2018 have been moved up in the year - Black Panther arrives on February 16th, 2018 and Captain Marvel will open on March 8th, 2019. It sounds like those two movies are fully confirmed, too. I'm sure we'll be hearing more news soon.