We have a few release date changes and announcements to attend to this afternoon. Briefly:
- 20th Century Fox’s “Untitled Ridley Scott Project” has been confirmed, as The Martian release date has been moved up from March 2016 to November 25, 2015.
- Director Tim Burton’s next film, Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars, will take over the date previously held by The Martin, as Fox has pushed it to March 4, 2016.
- Following the success of The Fault in Our Stars, Fox has set the adaptation of another John Green novel, Paper Towns, for release on July 31, 2015.
- Universal Pictures will release Clifford the Big Red Dog on April 8, 2016.
Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned projects.
Ridley Scott continues to roll right along, as he moved directly from Prometheus to The Counselor to Exodus: Gods and Kings, and now he’s poised to moved from the biblical epic right into the sci-fi adaptation The Martian. Based on the e-book by author Andy Weir, the Gravity-esque story tells the tale of an astronaut who becomes stranded on Mars and must make his way back home. Matt Damon is attached to lead the pic, which was initially set up as a directorial vehicle for The Cabin in the Woods helmer Drew Goddard before he was forced to depart due to scheduling conflicts. Goddard finished the script, but it’s unknown if Scott will bring in another writer to tailor it to his instincts.
On the Thanksgiving holiday release date, The Martian will square off directly against Pixar’s long-delayed The Good Dinosaur and Jeff Nichols’ sci-fi film Midnight Special. It also happens to be five days after the concluding installment in the Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, opens in theaters.
Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars
While filmmaker Tim Burton’s next film is firming up with regards to cast, it’s been clear for quite some time that it will not be ready in time for release next summer. Burton’s adaptation of the Ranson Riggs novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was initially slated for release on July 31, 2015, but Fox has now given the film The Martian’s previous date of March 4, 2016. Titled Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars, the story revolves around a teenager who is transported to an island where he stumbles upon a school full of orphans with special powers. The teenager must help protect the children from creatures that are out to destroy them. It was recently reported that Burton’s Dark Shadows co-star Eva Green has entered negotiations to lead the pic as Peregrine, so expect to hear more casting news soon as the pic’s February production start-date looms closer.
Following the massive success of Fox 2000’s low-budget drama The Fault in Our Stars earlier this summer, the studio revived its adaptation of another John Green novel, Paper Towns. A few months ago, Fox put Fault screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber on the project and attached Nat Wolff, who had a supporting role in Fault, to star. Additionally, TFiOS producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are producing the adaptation. The story follows a young man who wakes up one night to find his neighbor Margo dressed as a ninja, asking him to help her get revenge on the people who have hurt her. She disappears the next day, but the man subsequently begins to receive clues from her that he must follow.
The July release date is an incredibly quick turn around for Paper Towns, especially since Fox 2000 has yet to announce a director for the project. That said, if they keep the budget low like they did on Fault, the timeline should be manageable. The only other movie currently slated for release on July 31st is the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy Grimsby.
Clifford the Big Red Dog
Finally, Universal Pictures has dated its live-action/animated 3D comedy adventure adaptation of the Scholastic book series Clifford the Big Red Dog for release on April 8, 2016. Illumination Entertainment was originally going to be partnering with Universal on the production, but they subsequently backed out. Last we heard, Flushed Away director David Bowers was in line to take the helm. No word on whether that’s still the case.