A couple of years ago it was deadly asteroids slamming into Earth, and big-budget cartoons about talking bugs. This summer, the Hollywood fad was supposed to be spaceships landing on Mars -- but at least one interplanetary mission is being put on hold.
According to today's Daily Variety, Warner Bros. is postponing the release of "Red Planet" from June 16 to Nov. 10. This is the second time the film has been pushed back -- its original release date was slated March 31 -- and studio officials say it's due to the movie's extensive, expensive special-effects work.
Warners studio publicist Charlotte Kandel tells the trade newspaper that previously announced release dates for "Red Planet" were always tentative. "It's a very big movie for us, so we want to make sure we release when it's ready and at the right time," Kandel says. "We think it's a great film for the holiday season."
"Red Planet" stars Val Kilmer, Benjamin Bratt and Carrie-Anne Moss. Warner's decision to shelve it for the summer could also stem from competition with rival Disney's "Mission to Mars," which comes out March 10 and stars Tim Robbins and Gary Sinise.
The new November release date means "Red Planet" will face no major big-budget competition. If it were released in June as planned, it would have contended with Paramount's "Shaft" remake and Fox's "Titan A.E.," an animated film about the destruction of Earth, featuring the voices of Matt Damon and others.