Keeping tabs on release dates is one of the more tedious (but necessary) tasks called for in the movie news biz. Today, we have word that Universal is reshuffling dates for upcoming titles like 47 Ronin and Jurassic Park 3D, while setting official launch times for the comic book movies Kick-Ass 2 and 2 Guns.
Universal had already bumped 47 Ronin back from a November 2012 date to February 2013, prompting speculation that the 3D Samurai epic (starring Keanu Reeves as a "half-breed" Japanese warrior) is in trouble. Commercial director Carl Erik Rinsch is making his feature-length directorial debut with the film, and encountering all the obstacles one would expect when tackling a technologically-challenging adaptation of a cultural touchstone in the Japanese storytelling tradition.
Deadline says that reshoots and visual effects work on 47 Ronin ended up being put on hold due to the Olympic festivities in London, where post-production on Rinsch's project is ongoing. Thus, the film is being delayed (again) until Christmas Day 2013, where it opens against family-friendly titles The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Of course, Peter Jackson's second Hobbit movie arrives 11 days earlier, so Universal is banking on Reeves' vehicle having appeal as counter-programming.
Meanwhile, Kick-Ass 2 is now set for a June 28th, 2013 release date. Jeff Wadlow (Never Back Down) is handling directorial duties on the sequel to Matthew Vaughn's cult hit adaptation of Mark Millar's comic, with most of the (surviving) characters from Kick-Ass returning in part deux. The supernatural action-comedy R.I.P.D., starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges (and also based on a comic book), originally had claim on that date; Universal has shifted it to July 19th, instead.
Kick-Ass 2 is leaving out the more controversial (and disgusting) elements from Mark Millar's source comic, in order to make the costumed vigilante satire sequel more palpable for the masses; not to mention, less likely to elicit the sort of fiery reactions that Millar's second Kick-Ass mini-series has prompted. Chloë Grace Moretz is also getting more screentime while reprising her breakout role as Hit-Girl, who is the central focus of the film's first half.
Additional release date announcements include:
- 2 Guns joining the Summer 2013 race on August 16th.
- Jurassic Park 3D moving up from July 19th to April 5th, 2013.
- The Identity Thief taking 47 Ronin's previous spot on February 8th.
2 Guns is based on Steve Grant’s pulpy comic book, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. The latter was planning to reunite with director David O. Russell (The Fighter) on the project, but ended up re-teaming with Contraband helmer Baltasar Kormákur. Grant's source material is rife with double-crosses, as the two lead undercover agents rob what they believe is a Mob-backed bank - only to discover it really contains 50 million dollars' worth of CIA assets.
Jurassic Park 3D is (of course) a post-converted re-release of the Steven Spielberg science-gone-wrong blockbuster classic, while Identity Thief is a comedy pairing Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, with Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) directing.