Fox Delays ‘Red Sparrow’ and ‘Maze Runner 3’, Sets Spielberg’s Next Film for This December!!!

20th Century Fox announced a slew of release dates on this fine Saturday morning. We’ve already brought you the high profile news regarding the dates for the Avatar sequels and Deadpool 2 and New Mutants as well as the delay of The Predator, but there’s plenty more where that came from. Briefly, here’s the skinny:

  • Untitled Steven Spielberg set for release on December 22, 2017.
  • Maze Runner: The Death Cure will now hit theaters on February 9, 2018 instead of January 12, 2018.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence spy pic Red Sparrow is being pushed from November 2017 to March 2, 2018.
  • 12 Years a Slave filmmaker Steve McQueen’s next film Widows has been set for November 16, 2018.
  • Bryan Singer’s Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody opens on December 25, 2018.
  • The Kid Who Would Be King will open in theaters on September 28, 2018, though we don’t know anything else about this project at this time.

And now, let’s dig into a bit more on what each of these films are, who’s in them, etc.

Untitled Steven Spielberg

This film is almost certainly The Post, a project that Spielberg recently put together in a rush. The filmmaker and stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep came together on the project last month and are clearing their schedules to shoot and get this thing out in time for the next awards season. Scripted by Liz Hannah, the drama recounts the Washington Post’s role in exposing the Pentagon Papers to the public in 1971, and how Post editor Ben Bradlee (to be played by Hanks) teamed up with the organization’s first female publisher Kay Graham (Streep’s character) and the New York Times to challenge the federal government over their right to publish. The Pentagon Papers was a classified study that revealed harrowing details about the futility of the Vietnam War, which exposed that the Nixon Administration had been lying to the public. When the White House stopped the New York Times’ initial release of the papers, Bradlee and Graham fought to publish the rest in direct defiance of the Executive Branch.

The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where it was ruled that the New York Times and Washington Post were covered by the First Amendment and that the White House had failed to prove how the publishing of the Papers would cause harm to national security. It was a major victor for the freedom of the press, and during a time when the Trump administration is installing unprecedented, standoffish, and troublingly antagonistic relations with the press, one can imagine the immediacy with which Spielberg, Hanks, and Streep want to tell this story.

The film currently has quite a bit of competition on the Christmas release date, including Pitch Perfect 3, the Mark Wahlberg-fronted The Six Billion Dollar Man, and Alexander Payne’s new film Downsizing. It is undoubtedly a strong awards play, and another example of just how quickly Spielberg is able to work. Keep this one on your radar.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

The third and final film in the Maze Runner franchise infamously shut down production last year when star Dylan O’Brien was seriously injured on set. O’Brien was given ample time to recover and then he shot the upcoming actioner American Assassin, so it’s only just now that The Death Cure has gone back into production. The January release date always seemed weird for a successful franchise, so this new February 9, 2018 date makes a bit more sense. It’ll now be squaring off directly against another trilogy-conclusion, Fifty Shades Freed, as well as the family film Peter Rabbit.

Red Sparrow

Currently in production, Red Sparrow reunites Lawrence with her Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence and finds the Oscar-winning actress playing a Russian intelligence officer/trained seductress who is assigned to operate against a CIA officer. The two subsequently team up to seek revenge against their soulless masters. Joel Edgerton, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeremy Irons, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, and Joely Richardson also star.

The film was going to be rushed out this November, but it appears Fox decided instead to give Lawrence more time to finish the picture while also giving the film a Hunger Games-esque March release date. On March 2nd the film currently has no competition, but it opens two weeks before the Tomb Raider reboot and a week after Pacific Rim: Uprising.

Widows

The highly anticipated next film from 12 Years a Slave and Shame filmmaker Steve McQueen now has a release date! Widows is a thriller scripted by Gone Girl author/screenwriter Gillian Flynn that’s based on a British miniseries. It revolves around four armed robbers who are killed in a failed heist attempt, only to have their widows step up to finish the job.

McQueen’s terrific cast includes Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson, Daniel Kaluuya, Robert Duvall, and Andre Holland, and production is just about to get underway.

On the film’s awards-friendly November 2018 release date, the film will square off directly against Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 and opens a week after the animated Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. So this will be a nice adult alternative to all the family fare.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Finally, Fox has set a December 25, 2018 release for the long-developing Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody while also confirming that X-Men filmmaker Bryan Singer will direct. Mr. Robot breakout Rami Malek is set to play the Queen frontman in the film that has seen many filmmakers come and go. Most recently Sacha Baron Cohen was attached to star, but apparently the remaining members of Queen were pretty hands-on regarding the film’s portrayal of Mercury and the band itself.

We’ll see how Singer opts to tell this story, but it’s notable that this is Singer’s first non-blockbuster movie since Valkyrie. On that December release date, Bohemian Rhapsody will square off against Disney’s sequel Mary Poppins Returns and will open a week after Warner Bros.’ Aquaman.

 

via Collider

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