Universal Sets 2012 Release Dates

Universal just set a bunch of release dates for some of their bigger upcoming movies.  Are you intrigued?  Yes, of course you are.  Let’s take a look.

Larry Crowne – July 1, 2011

Hollywood.comTom Hanks is directing and starring in this comedy-drama about the titular Larry Crowne, a middle-aged man who goes back to college when he is fired from his job.  He smokes pot, joins the ultimate frisbee team, and gets into all sorts of hilarious collegiate hijinks.  Wouldn’t that be funny?  No, actually he falls in love with his professor, played by Julia Roberts.  Yawn.


Safe House – February 10, 2012

Denzel Washington is a hardened criminal (sure) and Ryan Reynolds is a young CIA agent (why not) in this action-thriller from Swedish director Daniel Espinosa.  When a team of baddies destroy the safe house in which Washington is being held, the sardonic young Reynolds has to guide him to safety.  It’s like 16 Blocks, except Mos Def is Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis is Ryan Reynolds.  And Washington won’t have a speech impediment, hopefully.

Contraband – March 16, 2012

Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale are going to star in this remake of the 2008 Icelandic film Reykjavic-Rotterdam, in which the protagonist is a former smuggler trying to go straight, who gets roped in for one last job.  Because there aren’t already enough movies with this plot line, Universal is going to bring you another, and you’re going to sit and watch it goddamnit.  Baltasar Kormakur, who directed the original, will also be helming the English-language Marky-Mark version.

Untitled Judd Apatow Movie – June 1, 2012

‘Untitled Judd Apatow Movie’ is not the title of this untitled Judd Apatow movie, which is being written, directed, and produced by Judd Apatow.  Or maybe it is?  Has Judd Apatow’s cultural relevancy reached such a point of critical mass that his only logical path now is to get all self-reflexive and make meta Judd Apatow movies about the process of making Judd Apatow movies?  Maybe this will be a groundbreaking Charlie Kaufman collaboration.  I would watch that.

The Bourne Legacy – August 3, 2012

Hollywood.comTony Gilroy will be directing the 4th installment of the Bourne franchise, which means Matt Damon won’t actually be in it.  Matt Damon told Universal he wouldn’t star unless they brought back Paul Greengrass to direct.  Universal laughed and decided to call his bluff.  But no, Matt Damon is serious about not being in the next Bourne movie.  And Matt Damon is Jason Bourne.  So why are we still talking about this?  Is anyone seriously interested in seeing a Bourne flick without Bourne in it?  No?  Okay then, moving on.

Ouija – November 9, 2012

Michael Bay‘s company Platinum Dunes is going to produce the hell out of this movie – as Michael Bay is want to do – with a rumored $80 – $100 million budget.  Hell yeah!  Enough with these pussy-footed $15,000 budget Paranormal Activity-type films.  Anyway, this is a movie about a board game that people use to communicate with the dead.

47 Ronin – November 21, 2012Hollywood.com

Keanu Reeves will star in this epic period film, based on the true story of a group of samurai in 18th century Japan who avenged the death of their master in a famous revenge-attack in 1702.  Carl Rinsch, a promising commercial director we’ve had our eye on ever since we saw his very cool 2010 video short The Gift, will direct.  Plus, Keanu is half Asian, so thankfully we won’t have to deal with another brow-raising Tom Cruise-Last Samurai situation.

Snow White And The Huntsman – December 21, 2012

Tom Hardy (Inception) is rumored to be playing The Huntsman and Angelina Jolie the evil queen Ravenna in this reimagining of the classic fairy tale from spec scriptwriter Evan Daugherty.  While I’m naturally skeptical of this project, The Playlist got their hands on the script and said it was “actually very strong, one of the better action-adventure scripts we’ve read in a while.”  Rupert Sanders will direct.

The Dark Tower – May 17, 2013

Oscar-winning director Ron Howard is set to helm the first of what Universal is setting up as a trilogy of films based on Stephen King’s popular Dark Tower series, about the gunslinger Roland Deschain, who – long story short – sets out on a quest to find a tower-nexus at the center of his universe.  This one’s still a long ways off, but fans of the seven-book epic are already excited.  You should be too, assuming Universal doesn’t screw this one up.  A TV series is also in the works.