Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Figuring Out Disney's Future Releases

Disney has a bunch of open dates on their upcoming schedule.  They released a list of the live-action fairytales they currently had in development.  This helps to decipher what might go into those dates.

Jungle Book 2 would go into the April 2018 slot.  That is two years away and Favreau and the writer Justin Marks are already on board to continue the story.  The Jungle Book left it open for more of Kipling's jungle stories.  Releasing it around in April again makes a lot of sense.

I would expect Nutcracker and the Four Realms to be released on November of 2018.  The Nutcracker Suite is so associated with Christmas that a November release date makes sense.  This is one of the few projects to have a director not associated with several other projects.  Lasse Hallstrom can work on this soon.

There is a Disneytoon Movie schedule on April 2019.  Disneytoon is not as active as it once was with Disney sequels.  It has really only created Tinker Bell and Planes movies recently.  I think Disney wants their animation studio to keep making original movies that can create their own brands.  This gives Frozen 2 a theatrical release without having to slow down their main studio.

I will put A Wrinkle in Time in the November 2019 slot.  It is going to be directed by Ava DuVernay, but she will be busy with Intelligent Life in 2017.  Wrinkle will need two years of her time and around winter is a good release date for it.

The sequel to Mary Poppins will be released the following month, December 2019.  They have Rob Marshall, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt attached and you need to release this during Oscar season.  Expect a firm announcement when Moana is released.

2018 has two live-action films with release dates.  These are not designated as fairytales so they must be something different.  Jungle Cruise might qualify and this would have to be a summer movie.  Expect the Dwayne Johnson vehicle to be released on August 2018.

That means that December 2018 must be Colin Trevorrow's Star Wars Episode IX.  I wouldn't expect it to be released the same year as a Han Solo anthology film.  Episode IX had previously been dated for December 2019, but there is a Disney fairytale there right now.  Disney must want to release two Star Wars films in one year.  Not sure if that is the best idea, but there must be some reasoning behind it.

So that leaves July 2017 with one more Disney live-action fairytale release date.  The only remaining films I don't have slotted are Maleficent 2, Tim Burton's Dumbo, Tink starring Reese Witherspoon
 and Cruella.  I am going with Cruella, it doesn't seem like a summer film but Dumbo would take more than a year of production and Maleficent will take longer to schedule.  It is too close to Pan for Tink and Emma Stone is a better star to attach yourself to than Reese Witherspoon at this point.  Cruella will have less special effects and it has been trending this week.  So expect some sort of 101 Dalmatians prequel next summer.

Other release dates are for Pixar and Disney Animation in 2020.  I expect those to be original films.  Some may be projects we have heard about (Disney may release their Galactic, teen space race film).  But for the Marvel films that year I would guess Guardians vol. 3 for May 2020 and Doctor Strange 2 for November 2020.  Black Panther might need a sequel too, Captain Marvel can wait a year.  Inhumans might go in July, unless Marvel Studios has given up on that project.  There is always a chance Marvel will get Fantastic Four by then, but I will have to wait to find out for sure.

So the final schedule will probably look like:
July 2017- Cruella
April 2018- Jungle Book 2
August 2018- Jungle Cruise
November 2018- Nutcracker and the Four Realms
December 2018- Star Wars Episode IX
April 2019- Frozen 2
November 2019- A Wrinkle in Time
December 2019- Mary Poppins II
May 2020- Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3
July 2020- Inhumans
November 2020- Doctor Strange 2