20th Century Fox has dated two of its recently-announced films while shuffling a few others around on the calendar.
The biggest news is that Fox has dated Kenneth Branagh’s DEATH ON THE NILE, the sequel to his Agatha Christie adaptation Murder on the Orient Express, which Branagh directed and played super-sleuth Hercule Poirot. The sequel to Fox’s decent-sized hit will be released on Nov. 8, 2019, going up against Disney’s holiday film Nicole starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader. (It’s also going up against the second week of Wonder Woman 2, so good luck with that.)
Manga and anime fans will have to wait a little longer for Robert Rodriguez’s ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, which has been moved back from its planned summer release to Dec. 21. That puts it square in the middle of holiday season, going up against Warner Bros’ Aquaman, the Transformers spin-off Bumblebee and Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly’s reunion as Holmes & Watson.
There was previously an “Untitled Fox/Lightstorm Film” in that slot, which at one point might have been an Avatar sequel but now is clearly Alita, which is produced by Lightstorm. Maybe Rodriguez needed more time for visual FX, but James Cameron’s Titanic was famously moved back from July to the holidays, and we all remember how well that movie did, not that we expect the same results for Alita.
The recently-announced Blue Sky Films animated musical film FOSTER has also been dated for March 5, 2021, which was previously slotted for an “Untitled Fox/Marvel Film” but with the future of the Disney acquisition of Fox, who knows if there will still be any Fox/Marvel films?
Lastly, Shane Black’s THE PREDATOR, which was also scheduled for release this summer on August 3 has been shifted back six weeks for a Sept. 14 release. Normally, Sept. isn’t a good month for tentpole releases but New Line had a huge hit in early Sept. last year and they have an “untitled horror film” slated to kick off this Sept. The Predator should do fine in that slot even with the competition of the similarly-delayed Alpha from Sony and the Dwayne Johnson wrestling comedy Fighting with my Family.
Originally, Fox had the Mandy Moore sci-fi thriller The Darkest Minds set for that Sept. release, but that’s likely to get moved as well. Ironically, Johnson is attached to star in a Doc Savage movie directed by Black after The Predator, so they can have a good laugh when The Predator beats Johnson’s own movie. (But chances are MGM will move their movie as well.)
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor