Disney has announced a slew of release date changes. Briefly:
- The Muppets 2 will be released on March 21, 2014.
- Maleficent has been pushed back from March 14, 2014 to July 2.
- 1952, director Brad Bird’s collaboration with screenwriter Damon Lindelof, will hit theaters in 3D on December 19, 2014.
- Pirates of the Caribbean 5 has been given a July 10, 2015 release date.
- The 3D re-release of The Little Mermaid on September 13, 2013 has been removed from the schedule.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy will be released in 3D.
Hit the jump for more details, including the confirmation of George Clooney in 1952 and Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean 5. [Update: Brad Bird has now stated via Twitter that 3D has not been discussed for 1952, so Disney's press release may have been mistaken. This doesn't mean the film absolutely won't be in 3D, just that Bird hasn't OK'd it yet.]
The biggest news from this Disney update is the release date for Pirates 5. We recently learned that the Mouse House has hired Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can) to pen the script for the sequel, but one assumes they already have a pretty solid outline in place if they’re ready to commit to a release date. No director is currently attached, but On Stranger Tides helmer Rob Marshall has said in the past that he would like to return.
Johnny Depp is the anchor for this franchise and Disney confirms that he will indeed be back as Captain Jack, but solid details are few and far between at this point. What is clear is that, if all goes according to plan (Avengers 2, Star Wars 7, and Justice League), 2015 will be one hell of a year for movies.
The other big news is that director Brad Bird’s mysterious sci-fi project 1952 has a solid release date, it’ll be in 3D, and George Clooney is confirmed to star. Details on the film are essentially non-existent at this point, but we know that Bird and Damon Lindelof’s script is based on an original idea and Clooney is set to star in the lead role. Lindelof recently told Steve that they hope to begin production this coming March, so the Christmas 2014 release date makes sense.
Also of note, the upcoming sequel to The Muppets will hit theaters on March 21, 2014. Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, and Ty Burrell star in the follow-up from director James Bobin, who co-wrote the script with The Muppets scribe Nicholas Stoller. The story moves to Europe and has been described as a caper. The pic now opens opposite Summit’s teen-geared adventure pic Divergent.
The Angelina Jolie-fronted Maleficent has been pushed back slightly from March 2014 to July 2nd. The big budget story of the titular villain now has the Fourth of July weekend all to itself. Also, the news that Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy will be released in 3D is not exactly a shock, as all of the studio’s most recent films have also hit theaters in the format.
Finally, it appears that the box office disappointments of recent 3D re-releases Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo have put a stake in that trend, as Disney will no longer be re-releasing The Little Mermaid in three dimensions.