Several studios have announced a number of official release dates for in-development films set to debut over the next couple years. Surprisingly, only four of the 16 are sequels. In a time when it seems every other "new" movie is a sequel or reboot, that number is quite pleasing.
There are a few comedies, a honey-loving bear, a deadly virus, and plenty more hitting theaters between now and 2013. The next three years are full of some epic comic book adaptations and summer blockbusters. But not every film is geared for the geeks and fanboys.
For a quick rundown of the new release dates, here they are in list form. Below that, you'll find more descriptive breakdowns of each.
The first weekend of 2011 presents quite the thriller. Unknown White Male stars Liam Neeson as a man who awakens from a coma and quickly discovers his identity has been stolen. But this is not just any case of identity theft. Nobody, not even his wife, believes him until a young woman helps his search. The film co-stars Diane Kruger and January Jones, along with Frank Langella. Unknown White Male releases January 7, 2011.
Anthony Hopkins will close out the first month of 2011 by teaching an up-and-coming priest a thing or two about exorcisms. The Rite, which releases January 28th, 2011, adapts the Matt Baglio novel of the same title. Apparently, the story is the true tale of a "disillusioned American seminary student who attends exorcism school at the Vatican and ultimately finds his faith through encounters with demonic forces." Sounds interesting enough, but a late January release date casts a shadow on its potential.
The Farrelly Brothers are still looking for their next comedy hit. It's been a long three years since The Heartbreak Kid, but the directors will hop back on the saddle with Hall Pass on February 25, 2011. The film has some mid-level star power in Owen Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Alyssa Milano, Christina Applegate, Jason Sudeikis and Richard Jenkins. The story follows a married man given an open invitation by his own wife to have an affair.
In March of 2010, Diary of a Wimpy Kid came out of nowhere with the intention of kick-starting a new film series based on a novel. While it quadrupled its $15 million production budget, the buzz was not as widespread as 20th Century Fox hoped. Regardless, the studio has given Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules a March 25, 2011 release date. The fifth novel by Jeff Kinney will be released this year, but the studio may catch up quickly if they continue to release one each year.
The Girl with the Red Riding Hood has been handed an April 22, 2011 release date. Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke will guide Amanda Seyfried through the woods in this adaptation of the classic tale. If the director's history doesn't worry you, the premise sure might. Orphan screenwriter David Johnson has written a script where the wandering girl gets caught in a love triangle amidst her other infamous problems.
If you've been desperately awaiting a Winnie the Pooh adaptation, Disney has given you a date to save. A mid-summer release on July 15th, 2011 will give the animated bear and his friends to a theatrical makeover. Renowned voice actor Jim Cummings (330 titles in 25 years) will voice both Pooh and Tigger, Peter Cullen (the voice of Optimus Prime in Transformers) will perform Eeyore and Craig Ferguson will voice the Owl.
Also releasing July 15th, 2011, The Sitter will put Jonah Hill in the middle of a babysitting adventure he'll never forget. In an argument for typecasting, Hill has been cast as a suspended college student. The film is rumored as a mix between Adventures in Babysitting and Superbad.
Four Christmases director Seth Gordon will lead an A-list cast in the July 25th, 2011 comedy Horrible Bosses. Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Jason Bateman, Jamie Foxx and Charlie Day make up the cast of New Line's hopeful summer hit. The plot reads, "Three friends conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness. If anything makes the film a worthy watch it is the presence of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Charlie Day.
Although still in the script phase, Late Bloomer now has an August 12, 2011 release date. The film adapts Ken Baker's novel Made: A Memoir and tells "the story of an adult male who, after the successful removal of a benign tumor resting his pituitary gland, experiences all the changes and effects of puberty over a three-week period."
In mid-March, Warner Bros. announced the intent to make Final Destination 5, much to the dismay of movie fans. A once great concept has been dragged along the road far too long and the studio is hoping a 3D sequel will change that. The fifth installment continues to make progress with an announced release date of August 26th, 2011.
Dark Castle Entertainment has given The Apparition a September 9th, 2011 release date. It sounds a bit like a combination of the studio's own upcoming film Splice and the indie hit Paranormal Activity. The synopsis says The Apparition is about "a couple haunted by a supernatural presence that is unleashed during a college experiment."
Say what you will about Brendan Fraser's acting career, but he's still got a franchise or two up his sleeve. The actor returns in 3D on September 23rd, 2011 with Journey to the Center of the Earth 2. The world has only itself to blame after a nearly $250 million box office for Journey to the Center of the Earth.
One of my most anticipated films of next year is Steven Soderbergh's Contagion. Now, with an official release date of October 21st, 2001, it sits in prime position for Oscar buzz. Talented writer Scott Z. Burns penned the script that will star Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne and Gwenyth Paltrow. The story explores the results of an international viral outbreak and the hysteria caused by mass media.
Valentine's Day made half of its domestic box office on opening weekend, proving its gimmicky Valentine's Day weekend release date to be a decent idea. The studio is attempting to recreate the relative success of the holiday ensemble piece with New Year's Eve. The only difference is this "sequel" will release December 9th, 2011. The story structure remains the same, but the cast is still in the assembly phase.
20th Century Fox will release Cameron Crowe's next project, We Bought A Zoo, on December 23rd, 2011. Production should begin this fall. 27 Dresses and The Devils Wears Prada writer Aline Brosh McKenna is penning the script. I'm not sure the connection between Crowe and McKenna, but it is safe to trust a filmmaker like Crowe.
Further down the road, Disney has announced Reboot Ralph will hit theaters March 22, 2013. The film is apparently an animated adventure through the world of a video game. It was previously known as Joe Jump.
Is that enough release dates for you? There's plenty to add to your movie schedule, but not quite as entertaining a list as the next two summers. Still, movies are what we here at Screen Rant live for, so no complaints.
As usual, stay tuned for the latest movie news and release date updates. We'll keep your movie ears burning.