The Martian, which will be directed by the ever-busy Ridley Scott, stars Matt Damon as an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars and must find his way back home. Originally set to debut on March 4, 2016, Fox has moved the sci-fi film up by four months to November 25, 2015. Now that the key players are in place, it seems as if the studio is interested in fast-tracking the project. By receiving a fall release date, The Martian could be positioned as one of Fox's awards contenders late next year (a la Gravity for Warner Bros. in 2013).
With a story that theoretically will blend elements from the aforementioned Alfonso Cuarón Oscar winner and Robert Zemeckis' Cast Away, the Andy Weir adaptation could be set for a healthy box office run as well. That would be great news for both Scott and Damon, as their recent track records haven't matched the heights they reached earlier in their respective careers.
By going up against Pixar's The Good Dinosaur and the sci-fi drama Midnight Special, Scott and Damon's collaboration will have some stiff competition. That said, with a likable leading man in Damon fronting the film and fan-favorite auteur Scott behind the camera, this survival story should play well to audiences during the 2015 holiday season.
Taking that March 2016 spot The Martian vacated will be Tim Burton's adaptation of the Ransom Riggs novel Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which was initially supposed to open on July 31, 2015. Telling the tale of a boy who follows clues to an abandoned orphanage after a family tragedy, the dark fantasy should play right into the wheelhouse of the man who made Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands beloved classics. Recently, it was reported that Eva Green was set to portray Miss Peregrine, a move that will reunite her with Burton after the two worked on Dark Shadows.
It's true that Burton's filmography of late hasn't been as memorable as his seminal works, but his Frankenweenie received praise from critics and the Miss Peregrine's source material is viewed as one of the better children's books in the last few years. There's a chance that this could be his return to form that so many moviegoers are hoping for. Currently, an untitled film from Disney Animation is also slated for release on March 4, 2016, giving families two options to check out that weekend.
Not ones to let a good release date slip past them, Fox made sure to fill the void on July 31, 2015 with Paper Towns, the latest film adaptation from the works of author John Green. Green's material was previously translated to film earlier this year when Josh Boone's adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars (pictured above) became one of the breakout hits of the summer. Grossing over $48 million during its opening weekend and more than $123 million overall domestically, it's no surprise that Fox is looking to bring another one of the novelist's books to the screen.
The mystery film is currently without a director, but that should change very soon with a release date that's just under a year away. That weekend will also see the release of Grimsby, a spy comedy directed by Louis Leterrier, starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong.
To recap, here are the new release dates from Fox:
- The Martian will land in theaters on November 25, 2015.
- Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will debut on March 4, 2016.
- Paper Towns will be released on July 31, 2015.
We'll keep you updated on the progress of these films.
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Source: Twentieth Century Fox