Disney Dates ‘Lion King’ and ‘Frozen 2,’ Pushes Fifth ‘Indiana Jones’ Film to 2020

Posted 2017/04/26 10156

The fifth film in the long-running “Indiana Jones” series will now gallop into theaters on July 10, 2020. It was previously slated to debut on July 19, 2019. The delay isn’t surprising. Director Steven Spielberg still has several projects on his dance card, including “Ready Player One,” a big-screen adaptation of a best-selling science-fiction novel, and a drama about the Pentagon Papers with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. The delay also gives the filmmakers more time to cook up a script that both Spielberg and Harrison Ford approve of, though it does mean that the action star will be in his late seventies when the film opens. By that point many globe-trotting adventurers would be forgiven for thinking about retirement.

Disney’s announcement will likely have ripple effects throughout the industry. The studio is the leader in terms of market share. Because it owns the rights to Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Pixar’s libraries, it has an enormous competitive advantage over other studios that don’t have the same reservoir of animated favorites and superheroes. That enables them to snap up the prime summer, spring, and holiday release dates for its films for years in advance, planting a flag that requires other studios to stake out other parts of the calendar where their films won’t be dwarfed by “Avengers” and “Star Wars” sequels and spinoffs.

There was a great deal of musical chairs involved in all the release dating. The company also moved up the release date of Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” a big-budget adaptation of the beloved Madeleine L’Engle novel of the same name from April 6, 2018 to March 9, 2018. It will fill a slot left vacant by “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2,” which, in turn, will get pushed back to November 21, 2018. The “Wreck it Ralph” follow-up will take a slot previously reserved for “Gigantic,” a loose adaptation of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” “Magic Camp,” a comedy about magicians with Jeffrey Tambor and Adam Devine, will open in “A Wrinkle of Time’s” old slot in April. It was originally set to launch in August of 2018.

In addition, the studio said that it will release its untitled live-action fairy tale on August 3, 2018 instead of July 28, 2017, though it did not say which fairy tale it plans to bring to the big screen. The studio is preparing a number of flesh-blood-and-pixels screen versions of such animated classics as “Dumbo” and “Aladdin.” The film, whatever it may be, will face off against “The Predator” and “Holmes & Watson,” a comedy with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.