The house that Mouse built, Disney, is on a bit of a rampage when it comes to its upcoming release slate. So much so that the company's cinematic arm has announced a bevy of release dates for some of its most-anticipated upcoming films. Mondays
But it's not all new news, either: some of the movies are completing a rousing rendition of the Release Date Shuffle. The films getting new wide dates are Pirates Of The Caribbean 5, with a new release date of July 10, 2015. The hotly-anticipated, Tina Fey-fronted The Muppets 2 will roll into theaters on March 21, 2014, and the what-the-heck-is-this-movie, no-seriously-what-is-it-all-about-project from Damon Lindelof and director Brad Bird titled 1952 got a new date of December 19, 2014 — just enough time for George Clooney to get acclimated to the 3D world in which this film will be shot.
Unfortunately for those looking for a more old-school Disney film experience, they'll have to wait a little bit longer. The Little Mermaid, purported to be the next film from the Disney vaults to get a 3D re-release ala The Lion King and Finding Nemo, has been removed from the schedule. It had been slated for a September 13, 2013 release.
Check out our full breakdown of the cinematic proceedings, below: The Muppets 2Release Date: March 21, 2014Film will star Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey. It will be produced by Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman, with James Bobin at the helm. Returning to scripting duties is Nick Stoller alongside Bobin.
Captain America: The Winter SoldierRelease Date: April 14, 2014The Marvel feature will be available in 3D.Film will star Chris Evans. Directed by the brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, the story will pick up where The Avengers left off: with Steve Rogers struggling to accept the modern world and his place within it.
MaleficentRelease Date: July 2, 2014 (originally: March 14, 2014).Film stars Angelina Jolie in the title role, as well supporting players Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville. It will be released in 3D and is produced by Joe Roth, directed by Robert Stromberg, and written by Linda Woolverton.Film is said to be a bit of an origin story about the Disney villainess from the 1959 animated classic, Sleeping Beauty.
Guardians of the GalaxyRelease Date: August 1, 20143D film is a Marvel feature about a futuristic team of superheroes tasked with protecting the galaxy from danger, will be voiced by a cavalcade of characters, and directed by James Gunn.
1952Release Date: December 19, 2014The highly-secretive film will star George Clooney, with direction from Brad Bird, and a script/producer in Damon Lindelof.
Pirates of the Caribbean 5Release Date: July 10, 2015Film stars Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. It will be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and written by Jeff Nathanson.
Looking forward to any of these films? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo Credit: Walt Disney]
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Remember that surge of confusion and bizarre awe you felt upon watching Johnny Depp perform the futterwacken at the end of Tim Burton's Alice and Wonderland? Well, that same feeling is about to overtake you: Hollywood.com has confirmed that Disney is currently developing a sequel to the film, which will again draw from both Lewis Carroll stories Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.
Linda Woolverton, who adapted Carroll's works for Burton the first time around, has a long history of well-received screenplays for family movies: she is responsible for The Lion King, and contributed to Beauty and the Beast and Mulan. Not a bad track record, though her first stab at Alice in Wonderland did leave a bad taste in the mouths of many critics and adoring fans of the source material (and its earlier cinematic incarnations). Still, it's no mystery why Disney would return to Burton's Wonderland world for a second go: the 2010 movie grossed over a billion dollars, cementing it firmly as one of the highest-earning films of all time. It presently stands at No. 12, right between Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace and The Dark Knight.
No word yet on whether Burton will return to helm the picture, nor on what stars (Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter among them) will take sequel roles. But there's no deficit of direction in which to take the movie. The first film's loose interpretation of various Carroll elements exhibits Disney's willingness to expand upon and invent new stories and adventures for the literary characters, meaning that just about anything can happen in Alice in Wonderland 2: Alice (Wasikowska) saves Underland from a rich oil tycoon who happens upon the mystical garden portal and wants to mine the magical land for its rich resources; the Mad Hatter (Depp) goes into the fashion business here in the real world, becoming a 7th Avenue smash with his line of headwear; the white rabbit's (Michael Sheen) frequent tardiness costs him his fiancee, and the rest of the gang band together to mend his broken heart. Anything is possible. Even more futterwacken.
[Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures]
Additional reporting by Matt Patches
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Just as surely as the hippos and gazelles that populate the African savannah in Disney’s 1994 hand-drawn classic The Lion King must take their place in the grand cosmic scheme of things the best Disney animated movies have their own roles in the “circle of life” that the movie’s opening song of the same name written by Elton John and Tim Rice refers to. The films open in theatres and delight kids and adults alike before heading to the home-entertainment sphere where they find everlasting life by being passed down to future generations.
However every once in a while a beloved Disney title gets reincarnated on the big screen in a newer spiffier form. Such is the case with The Lion King itself which arrives in theatres for the first time in 3D in a limited run beginning September 16 before its release on shelves as a special Diamond Edition Blu-ray on October 4.
An audience of Mouse House devotees were treated to the first public screening of The Lion King in 3D at the Anaheim Convention Center’s multi-tiered arena on Saturday August 20 2011 as part of Disney’s fanboy-nirvana D23 Expo. Directors Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers took to the stage to introduce the screening at one point even offering a spirited rendition of the miniature musical number in which the comedy team of wisenheimer meerkat Timon (voiced by Nathan Lane) and gaseous warthog Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella) distract a band of evil minions by launching into a rapid-fire Hawaiian-themed ditty. One of the co-directors even kept the rhythm going by banging on the makeshift drum of an upside-down water jug.
Then the movie began and it’s gratifying to report that Disney’s 3D conversion of The Lion King is an excellent fittingly majestic bit of post-production wizardry. Of course part of what makes the 3D so enveloping is that Minkoff and Allers have already done such an expert job of creating visually layered 2D compositions that the addition of the third dimension is able to stagger those layers in a striking manner. For example the last shot of malicious Uncle Scar’s (Jeremy Irons miraculously delivering the best vocal performance in a cast that also includes the booming baritone of James Earl Jones) “Be Prepared” musical number features an elephant’s skeleton in the foreground and the sight of Scar and his hyena underlings bellowing the song’s final notes atop a craggy mountain in the background. In 3D the viewer can get happily lost in the amplified depth between the shot’s foreground and background action.
Naturally there are also more gimmicky less subtle uses of 3D. Pumbaa’s snout and two horns are repeatedly lunging right at the spectator and the smoke and dust kicked up in the wake of the wildebeest stampede that (spoiler alert for those who have been living under a rock for the past 17 years!) claims King Mufasa’s (Jones) life seemed to hover in the Anaheim arena’s air. Since perhaps the most eye-catching use of 3D is when a flying character seems to soar in the space between the screen and the audience (think of that fuzzy-butterfly-type creature that stole the show in Disneyland’s 3D attraction Captain EO) the winged movements of Mufasa’s avian adviser Zazu (Rowan Atkinson) make for some of the movie’s showiest 3D touches. But they also lead to my one quibble with the 3D here: because the “you can seemingly reach out and touch Zazu” effects are so attention-grabbing scenes that aren’t even dramatically centered on Zazu end up inevitably and distractingly being all about the snooty beaked majordomo.
As fans would expect though the film’s stirring hero’s-quest narrative arc and emotional grace notes register just as strongly in this new format. When young hero Simba (voiced as a cub by Jonathan Taylor Thomas) devastated by father Mufasa’s death crawls under the giant paw of his dad’s corpse a few D23 attendees behind me could be heard blowing loudly into their tissues. That’s another benefit of having this film in 3D: those dark glasses do a great job of hiding your tears.
Everything about The Fighter just screams Disney. Last year’s Best Picture nominee—starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in his most awesome performance that involves no rappelling—was gritty, biting, and focused on crack. So, the film's director David O. Russell, might seem like an unusual choice for a live-action retelling of Sleeping Beauty in the upcoming Disney film Maleficent.
Those familiar with Russell’s past work—particularly the upbeat acid-trip compiled exclusively of loose ends, I Heart Huckabees, might recognize the director’s versatility. One consistency Russell does display is casting Wahlberg, who appeared in both The Fighter and Huckabees, as well as Russell’s Three Kings, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Dirk Diggler himself ends up playing Prince Charming.
Those involved thus far include Angelina Jolie as the Witch, from whose perspective the film’s story is told, and screenwriter Linda Woolverton, a Disney legend responsible for The Lion King, Mulan, and (we’ll forgive her for this one) Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Burton himself was attached to direct originally, but his departure potentially leaves the project in Russell's hands. So, at least we won’t have to worry about another piece of our childhood turned into a paint-spattered Depp-a-thon.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
The acclaimed filmmaker has agreed to oversee an upcoming musical theatre version of his 2010 movie, which starred Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp and went on to gross more than a billion dollars at the global box office.
Burton will not be directing the show but he will help design the production, while the film's screenwriter Linda Woolverton is onboard to look after the story, according to Playbill.com.
Nearly a century and a half after Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland first acquainted readers with the Mad Hatter the Cheshire Cat and the rest of the peculiar inhabitants of author Lewis Carroll’s fertile imagination filmmaking technology has finally developed the tools capable of properly rendering Carroll's exquisitely twisted world on the big screen. And who better to oversee the translation than Tim Burton Hollywood’s foremost mass-market purveyor of dark quirky fantasy? If there’s any director working today who can lay claim to Carroll’s creative inheritance surely it is him.
His creation Alice in Wonderland is fashioned not as an adaptation of Carroll’s two Alice-centered books but rather a kind of sequel to them its titular heroine (Mia Wasikowska) redrawn as the mischievous 19-year-old daughter of English aristocrats. Given more to chasing small animals than attending society functions Alice is the kind of adventurous free-thinking Victorian renegade who thinks nothing of drinking suspicious beverages found at the bottom of rabbit holes.
If only she were more interesting. Burton’s Alice isn’t so much a character as she is a tour guide leading us through the director’s $150 million museum of digital delights. Virtually everything on display in the film from the giant mushrooms of the Underland forest to the bulging eyes of Johnny Depp’s (literally) mercurial Hatter was either created or enhanced inside a computer presumably one with a direct connection to Burton’s cerebral cortex. (Interestingly the enhanced Depp bears a more than passing resemblance to Elijah Wood who the producers could have gotten for a lot less money.) Much like Alice herself it’s gorgeous to look at but never particularly engaging.
Were he alive today — and reasonably coherent — Carroll himself would no doubt marvel at the visual grandeur of Alice in Wonderland its CGI world as detailed and immersive as the most vivid of his migraine-induced hallucinations. But he might frown at the short thrift given to his characters. Esteemed cast members like Anne Hathaway (The White Queen) Crispin Glover (The Knave of Hearts) and even the mighty Depp can’t hope to compete with the beauty of their surroundings — instead of actors chewing the scenery the scenery devours the actors. (A notable exception is Helena Bonham Carter the cast’s lone standout as the screeching acerbic Red Queen.)
Alice in Wonderland is really designed to function as an inoffensive family flick and in that regard it boasts more than enough pretty fluff to keep the minds of most pre-teens occupied for the duration of a Saturday matinee. But afterward they might be hard-pressed to recount details of the story which involves Alice having to find a magic sword so she can slay a giant dragon and unlock the Legend of Zelda. Or something like that.
Filled with moments of fleeting exhilaration and empty whimsy Alice in Wonderland never really grabs the viewer in any meaningful way its overall experience more akin to that of a theme park ride than a movie. Which I half suspect was Disney’s intention all along.
Granted there’s a glut of environmental movies--March of the Penguins An Inconvenient Truth the upcoming Leonardo DiCaprio-narrated The 11th Hour even Happy Feet--but really it should only be the tip of the iceberg. Movies such as those above and Arctic Tale are vital so we can see how devastating the effects can be on humankind’s excess and drastic climate change. With Arctic Tale wrapping this message up into an engaging story about some of the Arctic’s primary denizens—in this case an adorable polar bear cub named Nanu and a walrus pup named Seela—keeps things close to the heart. Narrated by Queen Latifah these two youngsters have it tough from the get-go but the fact the very ice that makes up their kingdom is literally melting away makes it near impossible to survive. For example Nanu and Seela both have to venture away from their disappearing ice-bound realm swimming for days in the open sea looking for a place where they can get food and shelter. It’s heart-wrenching--and it brings the point home. The predators and the hunted actually have to band together to face this single danger and seek out new ways to live in a world where the rules have changed. Queen Latifah brings her own wry sense of humor and ghetto fabulousness to Arctic Tale. She especially comes to life when she narrates Seela’s exploits with her large extended family. Walruses are a gregarious bunch and Latifah does a great job describing the sea animals as they flop around on each other on a floating ice floe or play “pull the flipper” after eating pounds and pounds of clams. Yes even farting walruses are funny. But comparisons to Morgan Freeman who is so very commanding in March of the Penguins will abound—and unfortunately Latifah doesn’t do the job quite as effectively. March of the Penguins has raised the bar; not since Born Free has a nature film been more inspiring powerful or exquisitely shot. But maybe that’s a good thing for wildlife filmmakers who now must aspire to capture nature’s grandeur and beauty the way Penguins did. Arctic Tale’s cinematography may not be as crisp as Penguins but filmmakers Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson who--through the National Geographic Natural History unit--certainly give it their best shot to bring us Nanu and Seela’s stories. They spent the last 15 years getting to know their protagonists “very carefully ” shooting over 800 hours of soul-stirring footage in the Canadian Arctic. Most effective are the shots underneath the ice where we see Arctic life in the murky depths--not only the walruses but other extremely unique aquatic animals such as thick-billed murres birds that actually fly underwater and narwhals fascinating whales with unicorn-like horns on their heads. Overall Arctic Tale's one true message is clear: Stop global warming before it’s too late.