Though Universal spent its time at CinemaCon revealing dates for the Fifty Shades of Grey sequels and announcing a new release date for Furious 8, there are more properties getting shuffled than just those two. In particular, today brings some bad news for monster fans and sci-fi action aficionados.
Universal’s planned ‘Universal Monsters’ franchise has been considerably delayed, with Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy shifting nine months from June 24, 2016, to March 24, 2017. That move also impacts the next, untitled monster movie, which was set to open April 21, 2017, but has been re-slotted for March 30, 2018.
Many are anticipating that The Wolf Man, which Prisoners scribe Aaron Guzikowski is scripting, will take that second date, but Scarlett Johansson is currently being courted for The Creature From The Black Lagoon, so it’s unclear whether that title will get priority should she sign up.
Universal also announced that the Guillermo del Toro-directed Pacific Rim 2 has been pushed from April 7, 2017, to August 4 of that same year, while the Duncan Jones-helmed Warcraft adaptation will finally hit screens on June 10, 2016, a few months after its previously planned March 11 bow. Those two shifts suggest that studio heads really believe in both films’ blockbuster potential. Given how much Universal has been trumpeting Warcraft in particular at various conventions, that’s scarcely a surprise.
Additionally, Tom Cruise drug thriller Mena, which Edge of Tomorrow‘s Doug Liman is directing as his follow-up, has landed on January 6, 2017, suggesting that the studio sees awards and box office potential (smash hit Oscar nominee American Sniper showed everyone that January does not have to be a cinematic graveyard). The thriller focuses on the extraordinary career of Barry Seal, a former Trans World Airlines pilot who turned to smuggling drugs in the 1980s before being going to work for the CIA.