Paramount Pictures has reshuffled its upcoming release schedule a bit, bumping up the Tom Cruise-starring One Shot adaptation to December 2012 in order to take the place of the studio's Brad Pitt-starring World War Z adaptation - which has now been pushed back some six months to Summer 2013.
Meanwhile, Paramount has also settled on a Christmas 2013 release date for its revamping of the live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film franchise. That flick is still officially without a director (though Battle Los Angeles helmer Jonathan Liebesman is heavily rumored for the job) but does have a screenplay in the works from Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol duo Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec.
One Shot was originally slated to hit theaters (no pun) during the slower-going portion of 2013 (specifically, February 8th) but Oscar-winning co-writer/director Christopher McQuarrie's screen treatment of Lee Child's Jack Reacher novel is now occupying the December 21st, 2012 spot that previously belonged to WWZ. Of course, the new Cruise vehicle will now have direct competition for the attention of action-hungry moviegoers, in the form(s) of Antoine Fuqua's Hunter Killer and Katherine Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty (the latter opens two days in advance).
It seems as though Paramount is feeling more confident about Cruise's bankability as an actor, now that Ghost Protocol has thoroughly demonstrated the A-lister can still draw in the masses... at least, with a little help. As it were, Cruise will be getting just that with One Shot, seeing how the solid supporting cast includes increasingly-popular people like Rosamund Pike (Wrath of the Titans), Jai Courtney (Spartacus: Vengeance), and David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) - not to mention, such decorated vets as Robert Duvall and Richard Jenkins (Killing Them Softly).
With an acting crew like that, One Shot has a better... uh, shot of replicating the success of the fourth Mission: Impossible flick and becoming a winter holiday season hit. Jack Reacher fans might not be so crazy about the idea of Cruise portraying Child's bulky, neck-snapping anti-hero, but most moviegoers - who are unfamiliar with the One Shot source material - shouldn't have so many quibbles.
Paramount has not given an official reason for the World War Z release date delay, though it could be the more downbeat and dramatic nature of the zombpocalyptic thriller convinced studio heads that helmer Marc Forster's adaptation of the popular Max Brooks' novel was better fit for a summer release than one during the winter holidays, when cheerier fare tends to triumph (with a title like David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo being the exception to that rule). Remember, World War Z is meant to kick off a new trilogy - so Paramount clearly expects a hit.
World War Z is now slated to arrive in theaters on June 21st, 2013, where it will have no immediate competition to open against (unless Monsters University counts). The grim zombie flick will have to compete with Zack Snyder's Superman series reboot Man of Steel, which will be in its second week of release - and Steven Spielberg's own costly sci-fi end-of-the-world blockbuster Robopocalypse begins playing in theaters about a week and a half after WWZ. How much those action titles ultimately will (or won't) affect one another's box office business will partially depend on word-of-mouth.
There's also the controversy concerning how Forster's World War Z reportedly abandons the "oral history" framework of Brooks' source material, in favor of a more conventional race-against-time adventure storyline; not to mention, the news that WWZ will only feature PG-13 levels of nasty zombie-related killing. How much those factors will actually affect ticket sales, remains to be seen.
As for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie... well, at this point, there's little to no concrete information to report about the flick in its current state. We've long heard rumblings that the film will be grittier and more violent - along the lines of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's original comic book creations - and if someone like Liebesman signs on to direct, that's all the more likely to be true. As was discussed on a previous SR Underground Podcast episode, we're mostly just excited about seeing the Turtles back on the big screen (for now).
The TMNT series reboot has Christmas Day 2013 all to itself right now, but that should change sometime over the next 20 months or so. As always, we will keep you posted.
Source: Paramount Pictures