Disney just announced a bunch of updates to its movie release calendar, but they”re all untitled movies, so that leaves us to play the guessing game of which movies have been moved to which dates.
Here are the changes to the studio”s release calendar, all for live action projects:
Untitled Disney fairy tale (live action) previously dated on December 22, 2017 moves to July 28, 2017
Untitled Disney fairy tale (live action) now dated April 6, 2018
Untitled Disney live action now dated on August 3, 2018
Untitled Disney live action now dated on December 25, 2018
Untitled Disney fairy tale (live action) now dated on December 20, 2019
First things first: What does this mean for Star Wars?
Star Wars Episode IX was at one point scheduled for May 24, 2019. Then Episode VIII got moved from May 2017 to December 2017, after the massive box office success of a Christmastime release for Force Awakens. After that release date change, Disney CEO Bob Iger has referred to Episode IX as “a 2019 release.” Should we assume they”ll stick to the May 2019 date for the conclusion to this trilogy or go with another December opening? (Also possible but less likely is another month altogether not during the winter holidays and start of the summer movie season.)
Well, today”s release calendar update may provide a clue in that Star Wars department. With a Disney having non-Star Wars plans for its family audience in December 2019 – a live action fairy tale movie – we shouldn”t expect a Star Wars movie to be a Christmas gift in 2019.
So that means we can hope Disney will keep the May 24, 2019 date for Star Wars Episode IX.
Or they“ll push it to 2020. Yes, there might be a tortuous wait in store for Star Wars fans who thought they”d only have to wait a year and a half between the probably-a-cliffhanger ending in VIII and the release of IX. But hey, maybe a good thing for anyone dreading saying goodbye to another Star Wars trilogy. Really, though, with all the spin-offs, we know that galaxy far, far away will be part of our world for many years to come.
Now, onto what else we can discern from this release date news:
Jungle Book 2 is officially in the works, Disney confirmed with today”s announcement. The sequel to Jon Favreau”s new take on the Rudyard Kipling book topped the box office the past two weekends. The amusing thing here is that it“s possible this sequel could hit theaters in August or December 2018 – right where Warner Bros.” rival Jungle Book recently moved (from October 2017 to October 2018).
Here are some other fairy tale and non-fairy tale live action projects in development at the House of Mouse that could fill those slots. Disney confirmed these projects, most of which had already been announced or rumored, today:
– Cruella with Emma Stone set for the title role and Kelly Marcel writing
– A Wrinkle in Time with Ava DuVernay attached to direct and Jennifer Lee writing
– Jungle Cruise with Dwayne Johnson set to star and John Requa and Glenn Ficarra writing
– Dumbo with director Tim Burton and writer Ehren Kruger
– A sequel to Mary Poppins with director Rob Marshall, starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda
– Maleficent 2 with Angelia Jolie set to return in the title role and Linda Woolverton writing
– The Nutcracker and the Four Realms with director Lasse Hallstrom and writer Ashleigh Powell
– The Jungle Book 2 with both director Jon Favreau and writer Justin Marks returning
– A Tinker Bell project with Reese Witherspoon set to star and Victoria Strouse writing
Among the other live action projects with release dates set in Disney“s remake and sequel machine are Beauty and the Beast on March 17, 2017 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, planned for May 26, 2017.
In any case, Disney fans can mark their calendars for those dates announced today, and other studios now have the message to stay away from the dates where Disney”s called dibs.