Note: Films expected in 2005 have their own page
Expected in 2006
|Jan 3||Happy Feet||Mad Max director tries his hand with an aminated feature about the adventures of a musically talented penguin in Antartica. Voice talent includes Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Elijah Wood and Carlos Alazraqui (the voice of the Taco Bell TV ad dog and Deputy James Garcia on Comedy Central’s eno 911).|
|Jan 20||Underworld: Evolution||Len Wiseman, Danny McBride and Kate Beckinsale are back as the director, writer and ultra-hot star of this sequel to the 2003 vampires versus werewolves battle tale. Bill Nighy and Scott Speedman also return as Viktor and Beckinsale’s hybrid love interest.|
|Feb 10||Curious George||Will Ferrell (who is, after all, in more movies than you can shake a stick out) plays the Man in the Yellow Hat in this animated version of the classic kids’ story. Matthew O’Callaghan makes his feature directing debut.|
|Mar 31||Ice Age 2||Not much detail has been announced yet on this though one expects production is well in hand; nonetheless one expects that the key characters/actors will return to try and repeat their success.|
|May 5||Mission Impossible 3||Cruise be back, so is Ving Rhames, and this time the director is David Fincher (Panic Room, Fight Club, Se7en).
Update 2003-02-07: Latest reports have MI3 dropping back a year although Comingsoon still shows 2004.
Update 2005-01-28: Despite the huge success of the original TV series and two very profitable movies, this has been a very difficult project for Paramount Pictures; production has slipped time and again as high profile writers like Frank Darabont and Robert Townes tried and failed to come up with an acceptable script.
Several directors (David Fincher, Joe Carnahan, Brett Rattner) have also come and gone; JJ Abrams (Alias and Lost) will make his feature debut with this picture and his selection lead to the last delay, as he needed to finish this season’s TV commitment, though that also allowed Cruise to squeeze in Speilberg’s War of the Worlds first. Abrams also brought in his Alias writing partners Alex Kurtman and Robert Orci to put his stamp on the script.
Some big names have been added to the cast as well: Scarlett Johanson gets her first weapons training to play a former Special Ops commando; Kenneth Branagh takes a break from Shakespeare; Carrie-Anne Moss plays Tom’s lady friend; and, Ricky Gervais (creator and star of BBC comedy hit The Office), Justin Kirk (critically acclaimed for his featured role in HBO’s Angels in America) and Dame Eileen Atkins will take so-far unspecified roles.
|May 5||X-Men 3||Rumor, with some support, says the plot will focus on the Dark Phoenix storyline which originally appeared in the comic book series. Bryan Singer has left the series in favor of restarting the Superman movie franchise, no replacement yet named, but Famke Janssen will play Jean Grey’s dark alter-ego, Patrick Stuart and Ian McKellen the wise old rivals, James Marsden again is Cyclops and Hugh Jackmen is the mean man with the titanium-bladed hands.|
|May 19||Over the Hedge||Michael Fry’s longrunning newspaper comic comes to the big screen with actors including Bruce Willis, Gene Wilder and Gary Shandling giving voice to the racoon, turtle and pals.|
|May 19||Da Vinci Code, The||Dan Brown’s all-time best seller will be brought to the screen by director Ron Howard, writer Akiva Goldsman and star Tom Hanks. Brown got $6 million for the rights and Hanks will be looking to recover from recent lackluster films The Terminal and The Ladykillers. Will be very interesting to see how the very anti-Catholic message of the book’s plot is dealt with on screen, or if Howard and Goldsman water it down to avoid controversy.|
|Jun 6||Beast, The||Writer/director Brian Flemming, who came to notice with a movie about a fictional assassination of Bill Gates (Nothing So Strange), has come up with a real doozy: A girl in high school gets proof, uncovered by her Biblical scholar father, that Jesus was made up by the Catholic Church and never really existed. So of course there are fundamentalists out to destroy her and the documentation.|
|Jun 9||Cars||Another Pixar/Disney animation collaboration
Update 2003-10-03: John Lasseter will be directing the flick. The same John Lasseter who was responsible for the little-known animations Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and A Bug’s Life.
Update 2004-01-27: Some news on the voice talent: veteran race car drivers Paul Newman and Richard Petty plus Owen Wilson and Bonnie Hunt.
Basic storyline: a high octane adventure comedy that features a wide assortment of cars as characters who get their kicks on Route 66.
Update 2005-01-01: Pixar dropped the date to June, 2006, and this is the last film Steve Jobs’ crew will be releasing through Disney under the current contract though no news on Pixar’s plans for future films.
|June||Superman Returns||Bret Rattner directs this origin tale, the first of a trilogy written by J.J. Abrams (Felicity, Alias), only rumors on who (Keanu Reeves) will wear the red cape for now.
Update 2002-10-29: Anthony Hopkins confirmed for Jor-El by Rattner but no one for the title role yet.
Update 2003-03-20: Ratner, unable to agree with the studio on casting for the title role and unable to control a budget zooming past $200 million, has dropped out of the project; one can only think that finding a new director will likely push the release of this project out and may cause another round of script changes when the new man comes onboard.
Update 2003-10-21: Dropped release to 2005 as film is still not close to production, lead not cast, director not set.
Update 2004-02-07: Latest rumors have production starting in January, 2005, in Sydney with McG (both Charlie’s Angels films) directing. Also potential: Beyonce Knowles as Lois Lane and Johnny Depp as Lex Luthor. Release now looking no earlier than Summer 2006.
Update 2005-01-13: More of the cast is set: little-known Brandon Routh as the Big S, Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, Kate Bosworth as the sweet Lois Lane, James Marsden as Lois’ fiance (and Luthor’s son?). Bryan Singer is finalized as the director and has brought X2: X-Men 2 scribes Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty with him.
|Jun 23||Click||Adam Sandler plays a man who finds a very special remote control, one with the ability to fast forward and rewind to different parts of his life. But nothing like that comes without consequences as this film from director Frank Coraci (Around the World in 80 Days, The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer) and Bruce Almighty writer Mark O’Keefe (et al) plans to show us. Also appearing are Kate Beckinsale as Sandler’s wife, Christopher Walken as ‘Morty’, Sean Astin, Rachel Drach, David Hasselhoff and Jennifer Coolidge (Stifler’s Mom!).|
|Jul 7||Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest||Depp, Knightley and Bloom will all be back for this sequel, as will director Gore Verbinsky. This is very early, little hard information has come out yet, but June worked so well for Disney the first time around I’m guessing they’ll stick with it. Also, producer Jerry Bruckenheimer (man does he have the golden touch!) has said that he made a deal with one of the writers from PotC1 to write (the first draft of) the script.
Update 2005-01-31: Some casting news: Chun Yow Fat will be sporting a thick mustache and a goatee to play the famous 15th century Chinese pirate Cheung Po Tsai. Stellan Skarsgard, Naomie Harris, Alex Norton (British TV’s Taggart) are in as well. Location shooting will happen in June and July of 2005.
Update 2005-02-03: Some plot info: Johnny Depp’s Capt. Jack Sparrow owes a blood debt to the legendary Davey Jones, ruler of the ocean depths and captain of the ghostly Flying Dutchman, and if Jack can’t figure a way out he’ll be cursed to an afterlife of eternal servitude and damnation, according to ComingSoon.net.
|July||Indiana Jones IV||Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford bring back an Indy whose in his early ’60s, the movie’s set in the 1950s, and the script is by Frank Darabont (Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption). Sean Connery and some of Indy’s girlfriends will be back, at least in cameos, as well.
Update 2004-02-05: Expect the release date to be pushed back significantly since George Lucas has rejected the latest draft of the script as written by Frank Darabont; scheduling problems, especially for Spielberg, are likely to delay production until at least well into 2005. Harrison, buddy, tick tock you’re not getting any younger!
|Oct 6||Barnyard||“What happens in the barn, stays in the barn.” Written and directed by Steve Odenkirk (Ace Ventura, Nutty Professor, Jimmy Neutron, Bruce Almighty, Kung Pow), this animated flick tells the story of what the farm animals get up to when the farmer goes away for longer than expected. Voices include Kevin James, Courtney Cox, Danny Glover, Wanda Sykes and Earthquake.|
|Nov 10||Stranger Than Fiction||Director Marc Forster, currently in theaters with the very hot Finding Neverland, takes on Zach Helm’s script about an IRS auditor (Will Ferrell) who starts hearing a voice in his head that he gradually realizes belongs to the author (Emma Thompson) of the book in which he’s the main character; Queen Latifah works for Thompson’s publishing company and Maggie Gyllenhaal is Ferrell’s love interest. Sounds just weird enough to be very good if all involved do their job well, and certainly more than Ferrell’s standard comic yuckfest fare.|
|Nov 25||Casino Royale (Bond 21)||No film title yet but Pierce Brosnan will be playing 007. For the last time? No real answer yet but the rumors are always floating about the next one. No director named yet but production should begin sometime in the first half of 2004.
Update 2005-01-01: Still no news on production or shooting script, not to mention whether or not Brosnan will return for one last go; lots of rumors about who may replace him but the most recent (and my favorite) is Colin Salmon, who is (very) English but not the same pale skin color as all past 007s.
Update 2005-02-02: It’s official. Pierce Brosnan will not return for a fifth performance; he himself posted the news to his personal website. He will, instead, be making a quite unnecessary sequel to The Thomas Crown Affair. British bookies are all but declaring that Dougray Scott will replace Brosnan as 007. The producers will almost surely continue the recent style of ultra-modern, hugely expensive and not nearly as good Bond films, though in this Movie Blog thread we discuss some very different and interesting rebirths for the franchise.
Update 2005-02-04: The film’s title–but not plot–has just been announced and though it should be familiar to you, I do not expect this to be similar in anyway to the first Bond film with this title. Though getting Woody Allen to play a (small) role would be great. Director will be Martin Campbell; he directed 1995’s GoldenEye, the one with Sean Beane and Famke Johnsson, the nasty Cossacks and climax at the Cuban telescope. The team of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade will handle the script for the third consecutive time (Die Another Day, The World is Not Enough). Guess we can rule out any huge rethink of the franchise.
|Dec 20||Charlotte’s Web||Director Gary Winick (making another zag after 2002 oddball indie Tadpole and Jennifer Garner flop 13 Going on 30) takes the difficult task of bringing the children’s classic to the screen with a melding of live and CG characters. Cast has some huge names with Dakota Fanning as Fern and the voices of Julia Roberts as Charlotte, Oprah Winfrey as Gussy, Steve Buscemi as Templeton, Kathy Bates as Bitsy, John Cleese as Samuel, Thomas Haden Church as Brooks, Robert Redford as Ike, Cedric the Entertainer as Golly, Jane Sibbett as Joy, Jennifer Garner as Susy, Reba McEntire as Betsy and AndrÃ© Benjamin as Elwyn.|
|NDY||Die Hardest||The fourth, and allegedly last, of Bruce Willis’s Die Hard movies. Set in the Caribbean, current rumor has Britney Spears lined up to play his cabaret dancer daughter, and the director is once again John McTiernan. The story will be how he saves her (and whatever island they’re on) from a group of bad guys but this time he will only fire one gun two times and otherwise use his wits and found on the ground materials.
Update 2003-10-21: Production won’t start until mid-2004, release will not be until mid-2005.
Update 2005-01-01: Not a lot of news on the film actually getting casted, a scripted approved or a production start date. Who knows when, but I’ve changed the release year to 2006.
|NDY||Tortoise Vs. Hare||Another animation from the makers of Chicken Run, slipped to 2005 after the same folks finish a big screen Wallace and Gromit
Update 2003-05-05: Release date sliding to 2006.
|NDY||Foundation||Writer John Rogers (The Core has turned in an initial script to director Shekhar Kapur but also says he isn’t sure how many movies this will turn into–after all, the books are generally termed (and published in the form of) a trilogy but are actually made of (and were originally published in Astounding Science Fiction as) seven novellas.|
|NDY||Shanghai Dawn||Owen Wilson has confirmed that writers are at work on a third entry in the 1880s-based series|
|NDY||Xena: The Movie||Rumors about a radio interview in New Zealand with star Lucy Lawless are percolating up to the States, though since the TV series left Xena and Gabrielle pretty seriously disembodied… but they’ve died before.|
|NDY||Rendezvous With Rama||Based on the Arthur C. Clark novel, the website now says Coming in 2004, directed by David Fincher, starring Morgan Freeman.
Update 2003-01-02: The mention of a release year is gone from the website, which is now just exposing a webified Powerpoint with 11 slides. Fincher’s own website has an April ’02 article claiming the film is in rewrites but he also has Mission: Impossible 3 to do first, and possible a sequel to Se7en.
Update 2003-05-05: Release date sliding to 2006.
|NDY||X-Files 2||Rumors are flowing that another Scully and Mulder film may start shooting before the end of 2003. Allegedly, Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny have signed up, as have Robert Patrick (John Doggett) and Annabeth Gish (Monica Reyes). She added that the film might be a prequel set before the events of the TV series. The cast will also include Brian Thompson as the alien bounty hunter and Mitch Pileggi as Walter Skinner, according to Dark Horizons.
Update 2005-01-13: David Duchovny had an interview the other day in which he said that this film is on track for release sometime in 2006, that Gillian Anderson will co-star, and the plot will be a standalone horror story that doesn’t tie into the alien invasion mythology.
|NDY||ChubbChubbs, The||Sony has announced, as part of their new push to create an animation division, plans for a feature-length version of the totally cute ChubbChubbs short. I just love the little Glorf orhpan Meeper!|
|NDY||Gnomeo and Juliet||An animated musical version of Shakespeare’s play transposed to feature ceramic gnomes (that is not a misprint, there will be ceramic gnomes!). Ewan McGregor is attached to voice the male lover and it will feature songs by Elton John and Tim Rice|
|NDY||Miami Vice||Get out your skinny ties and Ray-Bans, Crockett and Tubbs are coming back! No word yet on Crockett’s pet alligator though. Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx are slated to play the slickest cops ever to drive a Ferrari into the intercoastal canal, with series creator Michael Mann (Collateral, Ali, Heat) returning to write and direct.|
|NDY||Smoker, The||Owen Wilson and Natalie Portman team up for director Richard Linklater (Slackers, The School of Rock, Before Sunset) on a script from Peter Tolan (Analyze This and That, America’s Sweethearts. Storyline is “A beautiful student at an all-girls school has designs on her handsome English professor. And her quirky parents love the idea.”|
|NDY||Departed, The||Martin Scorsese and Leonardo Dicaprio will partner again to remake the 2002 Hong Kong police thriller Internal Affairs, transposing the location to Boston and the gangsters to Irish-Americans. Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon will also feature in the story of an undercover cop endangered by other detectives on the gangsters’ payroll. The script is by William Monahan, who has no films in theaters yet but has written the upcoming Orlando Bloom Kingdom of Heaven, Jurassic Park IV and Tripoli (not due until 2007) as well.
Update 2005-02-03: Jack Nicholson has signed on to play an Irish gang boss, Damon will play a gangster who has infiltrated the Boston police department as part of its cadet class and has been steadily rising through the ranks, and DiCaprio will play a cop who’s been deep undercover inside the mob and is starting to come unglued. Each side works feverishly to flush the mole out, with deadly consequences.
|NDY||A Prairie Home Companion||The still going strong at 80 Robert Altman directs stars Lyle Lovett, Meryl Streep, and Tom Waits. Based on Garrison Keillor’s longrunning series, this is a look at what goes on behind the scenes at one of America’s most celebrated radio shows, hosted by singing cowboys Dusty (Waits) and Left (Lovett). George Clooney may star in this as detective Guy Noir, and Lily Tomlin, Lindsay Lohan and SNL’s Maya Rudolph are also in the cast.|
Expected in 2007
|May 4||Spider-Man 3||A present from director Sam Raimi for my *gasp* 46th birthday, Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst are signed to return for the third film about the Webbed Wonder, though no announcements yet on plot or villain. Alvin Sargent, whose range of scripts over the past 40 years is tremendous (everything from, well, Spider-Man 2 to Ordinary People to Julia to Paper Moon) has signed to write the script with an option to do the fourth as well.
Update 2005-03-22: Thomas Haden Church, who was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor in Sideways, has been cast as Spidey’s new archenemy in the next chapter of the Spider-Man franchise but the name of his character hasn’t been revealed. Better than playing another Zen doofus like Lowell from Wings I’m sure.
|May||Shrek 3||Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy will all be back, with the first new voice casting being Sarah Jessica Parker. No announced details as of this (1/12/05) writing but there are rumours that the plot will bring the King Arthur crew into conflict with Mr. and Mrs. Ogre and Donkey. So far the three announced screenwriters are new to the series and do nothing to excite me: the team of Peter Seaman and Jeffrey Price have such illustrious scripts as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Wild Wild West and Doc Hollywood to their credit, while Jon Zack did the high school brainiac flick The Perfect Score.|
|May||Bourne Ultimatum, The||Just announced, Matt Damon will be back as one of my favorite screen heroes of recent years for the third installment. Paul Greengrass, director of the second Bourne and the upcoming graphic novel group of superheroes Watchmen, also returns. Tony Gilroy will script, as he did for the first two.
No plot details yet though of course their may be some connection to Ludlum novel of the same name 😉 One wonders how much connection is possible, however, since the novel depicts a “final battle” between Bourne and Carlos the Jackal, his terrorist arch-rival, but this relationship hasn’t been mentioned at all in the previous movies. More likely, I think, is that the connection will be limited to the way Bourne is drawn out from a settled life lived under a new name with a family who know nothing of his past.
|Jun||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix||The fifth book is coming but no news yet on if the original trio of kids will remain in the roles or if the producers will do a reset with younger actors.|
|Summer||Pirates of the Caribbean 3||Only news so far is that filming will be done together with the second PotC flick and Depp, Bloom, and Knightly will all be featured.|
|Nov 2||Bee Movie||Jerry Seinfeld and Rene Zellweger topline this animation from DreamWorks: Barry B. Benson (Seinfeld), a bee who has just graduated from college, is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a special trip outside the hive, Barry’s life is saved by Vanessa (Zellweger), a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, he discovers humans actually eat honey, and subsequently decides to sue us. Also voicing characters are Uma Thurman, Alan Arkin, Kathy Bates, Matthew Broderick, Robert Duvall, William H. Macy, Mark Moseley, Tim Blake Nelson, Rip Torn, Oprah Winfrey, and Patrick Warburton. Writing team is a quartet from Seinfeld’s sitcom.
Update 2006-01-14: I expect this title to change before release. Don’t you? Bee Movie is too generic but then again this is Jerry Seinfeld.
|NDY||On a Pale Horse||Piers Anthony’s science fiction series (seven books), about an insurance salesman who kills the Grim Reaper and then must take his place, comes to the screen starring Jamie Foxx
Update 2005-01-01: Jamie Foxx is hotter than ever but this film no longer shows up in IMDB or other likely places, so I’m not sure when or if it’ll be made. Changing release year to 2007.
|NDY||Guys and Dolls||Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of recent smash Chicago, have put together a package to remake the Brando/Sinatra classic but damn, they better do a good job because the original was amazing!|
|NDY||Tripoli||The grand epic adventure of how William Eaton (Keanu Reeves), a diplomat representing Thomas Jefferson and the United States in North Africa, joined forces with Hamet Karamanli (Ben Kingsley), the exiled heir to the throne of the Barbary Coast nation of Tripoli (now called Libya) in 1804 to overthrow a corrupt ruler (Hamet’s brother) who had taken his place. This story is where the Marine Corps Hymn got the phrase “To the shores of Tripoli.” Director, continuing his long history with big bang historical/war pics, is Ridley Scott.|
Expected in 2008
|NDY||Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince||The book isn’t even out yet but the producers are staking out turf.|