Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained turned out to be just the first upcoming cinematic venture from a (relatively) high-profile filmmaker to secure a release date this past week. Joining in are such projects as director Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion; Oliver Stone's literary adaptation, Savages; and Steven Soderbergh's star-studded thriller, Haywire.
Universal also set a release date for the sequel Despicable Me 2, which looks to involve the same writing and producing talent from last year's original film about the (reformed?) super-villain Gru (voice of Steve Carrell).
Oblivion will be Kosinski's sophomore directorial effort, following last winter's TRON: Legacy. The futuristic sci-fi adventure takes place in a post-alien invasion Earth where a drone repairman named Jak (Tom Cruise) discovers a mysterious woman who crash-landed on the planet's inhospitable surface. This seemingly benign act sets off (according to the official synopsis) "an unstoppable chain of events" that could affect the survival of humankind.
Kosinski's film is now set to reach theaters on July 19, 2013, several months after Neil Blomkamp's own original humans vs. aliens project, Elysium, is slated for release. Oblivion will actually arrive first in comic book form, which could either help or hinder the potential success of its cinematic counterpart - depending on how well the graphic novel is received, naturally.
Despicable Me 2 will arrive in theaters just over two weeks before Oblivion, on July 3rd, 2013. Illumination Entertainment now has two financial hits under its belt in the forms of the first Despicable Me and this past spring's CGI/live-action hybrid, Hop. The company is clearly hoping to go four-for-four in the area of animated hits over the next two years, between the second Despicable Me flick and next year's Dr. Seuss adaptation, The Lorax.
On the more awards-friendly side of things: Savages is now set to hit theaters on September 28, 2012. The film is an adaptation of Don Winslow's best-selling dramatic drug crime/thriller novel that features rising stars like Aaron Johnson and Blake Lively - as well as established names such as John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and Salma Hayek - as members of its cast. Oliver Stone fans are hoping that this will be a return to form for the multiple Academy Award-winning filmmaker, following the so-so reception for his last two pictures (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and W.).
Steven Soderbergh's Haywire - an espionage thriller that stars real-life Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star Gina Carano as a covert ops agent on the run - also boasts a top notch cast that includes the likes of Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, and Antonio Banderas, among others. However, the film is set to reach theaters on January 20th, 2012, which indicates that its distributor (Relativity) doesn't have a whole lot of confidence in the final product.
So, to reiterate (in order): Haywire will hit U.S. theaters on January 20th, 2012.
Savages is set to arrive in theaters on September 28th, 2012.
Despicable Me 2 will make its way into theaters on July 3rd, 2013. Oblivion will follow just over two weeks later, on July 19th.
Source: Universal, Relativity (via /Film)