Within the span of a single day, three highly-anticipated sequels to hit 2011 films - X-Men: First Class, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Thor - have all secured new official release dates.
Meanwhile, director Steven Spielberg's Robopocalypse has been pushed back a year. (Presumably, because the zombie apocalypse looks to beat it to the punch.) Robopocalypse's previous release date will instead be occupied by Disney's Lone Ranger and Fox's 3D theatrical re-release of Roland Emmerich's Independence Day.
Thor 2 will be the first of those buzzed-about sequels to reach U.S. theaters, now on November 8th (rather than the 15th) of 2013. That will give the Son of Odin a two-week head-start on Katniss Everdeen, who will return to theaters shortly thereafter with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The Thor sequel is set to begin production in a few months, with returning cast members Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman in tow, a new director (Game of Thrones alum Alan Taylor) and a new villain (NOT Thanos) possibly played by Casino Royale's Mads Mikkelsen.
Fox has officially titled the Apes sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. That film will open in U.S. theaters on May 23rd, 2014, just a week after a currently-unspecified Marvel movie is set to arrive (and two weeks after Amazing Spider-Man 2). Rise of the Planet of the Apes star Andy Serkis will reprise his motion-capture role as the simian up'riser Caesar, and director Rupert Wyatt will be back to guide him. Contagion screenwriter Scott Z. Burns is currently working on the script, which - as the title not-so-subtly implies - is expected to see the end of humanity's dominance over the earth (and the emergence of a new ape order).
X-Men: First Class 2 (not the official title) will hit U.S. theaters on July 18th, 2014 - just a week short of a year after the next X-Men sequel due to arrive in theaters, The Wolverine. Shooting on First Class 2 is slated to get underway by January 2013, with the majority of the First Class main cast onboard to return. Matthew Vaughn will once again be holding the directorial reins, working from a script he supervised, in collaboration with his go-to writing partner, Jane Goldman, and screenwriter Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes). The original First Class was a notoriously rushed production; it will be interesting to see what Vaughn can do with ample time to work - considering how well he did with so little time to create.
Finally is director Steven Spielberg's Robopocalypse, the blockbuster filmmaker's adaptation of the recently-published sci-fi book by Daniel H. Wilson. The film is being scripted by Drew Goddard, the writer responsible for Cloverfield (and co-writer/director of Cabin in the Woods). Robopocalypse is now penciled in for a U.S. theatrical release on April 25th, 2014. As was mentioned before, Lone Ranger and Independence Day 3D have taken its previously-reserved spot on July 3rd, 2013.
So, to recap:
- Independence Day 3D and Lone Ranger will charge into U.S. theaters on July 3rd, 2013.
- Thor 2 is going to strike theaters around the U.S. on November 8th, 2013.
- Robopocalypse opens in theaters in the U.S. on April 25th, 2014.
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will begin its U.S. theatrical run on May 23rd, 2014.
- X-Men: First Class 2 is due out in theaters on July 18th, 2014.
Which of these films are you most excited about (if not all/none of them)? Sound off in the comments section.
Source: Box Office Mojo