Warner Bros. Sets Release Dates for Ben Affleck’s LIVE BY NIGHT, Jeff Nichols’ MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, and Two Animation Projects

     May 6, 2014

live by night release date midnight special release date

Warner Bros. has announced a few release dates:

  • The studio pushed Ben Affleck‘s Live by Night, set in Boston during Prohibition, from Christmas 2015 to October 17, 2016.
  • Midnight Special is scheduled for November 25, 2015.  Adam Driver, Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, and Michael Shannon star in the latest from writer/director Jeff Nichols (Mud).
  • Warner Animation Group claimed February 10, 2017 and February 9, 2018 for two untitled projects.
  • Warner Bros. and New Line will release an untitled comedy on November 13, 2015.

Dates via Box Office Mojo.  More on each project after the jump.

The delay for Live by Night may be linked to the delay for Batman vs. Superman.  [Update: THR confirms Live by Night was pushed back to accommodate Batman vs. Superman, which starts shooting soon in Detroit.]  Or perhaps WB hopes Affleck can recreate the fall success of Argo (October 12) and The Town (September 17).  Any time of year, the setting of Dennis Lehane‘s Live by Night should look great on film.  Here is an excerpt from the book synopsis:

live by night release date

Boston, 1926. The ’20s are roaring. Liquor is flowing, bullets are flying, and one man sets out to make his mark on the world.

Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbringing. Now having graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city’s most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the spoils, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw.

But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. In a time when ruthless men of ambition, armed with cash, illegal booze, and guns, battle for control, no one—neither family nor friend, enemy nor lover—can be trusted. Beyond money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems most likely for men like Joe: an early death. But until that day, he and his friends are determined to live life to the hilt.

Joe embarks on a dizzying journey up the ladder of organized crime that takes him from the flash of Jazz Age Boston to the sensual shimmer of Tampa’s Latin Quarter to the sizzling streets of Cuba.

Midnight Special follows a father and his 8-year-old son—who has “some kind of special powers”—on the run.  Here is how Nichols described the story:

“I kind of want to make a 1980s John Carpenter movie.  If I had to choose one of those it would be Starman. … Midnight Special is going to be a genre film put through whatever bizarre filter is me.”

Building on the success of The Lego Movie, Warner Bros. wants to ramp up its animated output.  The studio formed a creative consortium with John Requa and Glen Ficarra (Crazy, Stupid, Love), Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets), Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie), and Jared Stern (Mr. Popper’s Penguins) with the goal of releasing “one ‘high-end’ film per year.”  That continues with Storks in 2015 and Smallfoot in 2016, though we know little about those projects.  Given the early February release dates of The Lego Movie and the two new untitled projects, my gut says WB stakes out February five years in a row.

Warner Bros. also has a Lego Movie sequel set for May 26, 2017 and at least one Lego spinoff in the works.  Naturally, WB will return to the Looney Tunes well at some point, perhaps with Space Jam 2.

space jam 2

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