With an ultra-aggressive upcoming slate, Disney looks to improve on their powerhouse stature. Word has come out that the Mouse House has placed multiple release date reserves, all without naming specifically which of their upcoming movies will take the slots. Of course, with powerful entities onto themselves like Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilms all under the Disney banner as well an impressive collection of forthcoming in-house titles, Disney doesn’t have a shortage of product.
One date settled is July 28, 2017, which currently is also occupied by Sony’s upcoming reboot of Jumanji (which currently has Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart being eyed to headline). Another is April 6, 2018, right in time for spring break (Batman v Superman recently proved the value of releasing a tentpole during this time); currently an untitled Laika stop-motion feature is set to also open then and Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One will be settling in theaters. August 3, 2018 is another date ear-marked for Disney – currently unopposed. Finally, December 20, 2018 is another date being settled, one which may be quite competitive if James Cameron’s upcoming Avatar sequel arises as well as Sony’s upcoming animated Spider-Man film.
All of these dates are seemingly being ear-marked for in-house Disney productions, outside of those in the Marvel, Pixar or Lucasfilm mold. Of course, Disney is doing just fine without these powerful brands thanks to their in-house animated department and the equally successful live-action reboots of their beloved animated canon – current releases Zootopia and The Jungle Book prove this without question. Films that may be vying for these dates include:
- Cruella – a live-action origin story of 101 Dalmations baddie Cruella De Vil; Emma Stone appears set in starring.
- Dumbo – live-action take of the classic with Tim Burton attached to helm.
- The Jungle Book 2 – sequel to current box office blockbuster.
- Jungle Cruise – Dwayne Johnson is attached for this screen take of the classic Disney attraction.
- Maleficent 2 – sequel to the 2014 blockbuster with Angelina Jolie eyed to return.
- Mary Poppins – sequel to the beloved 1964 film set to star Emily Blunt and Hamilton sensation Lin-Manuel Miranda
- The Nutcracker and the Four Realms – Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules) directed adaptation.
- Tinker Bell – origin story with Reese Witherspoon attached.
- A Wrinkle in Time – Ava DuVernay (Selma) directs a screen adaptation of the classic children’s novel.
Nearly ready to go, Disney has Alice Through the Looking Glass set to open on May 27th, Pete’s Dragon arriving on August 12th and Rob Marshall’s live-action Beauty and the Beast scheduled for March 17, 2018. Watch this space.