The Walt Disney Company has made some changes to their calendar of upcoming feature film releases, starting with the delay of the live-action spin-off Cruella, based on the villain of the same name from 101 Dalmatians. But the more interesting news is the three Fox titles that Disney will be releasing in 2020, and two of them don’t really sound like they’re going to do Disney any favors at the box office. Get the updated Disney movie release dates and details on each of the projects below.
First up, Disney’s Cruella starring Emma Stone as a younger version of the terrifying villain who wants to skin dalmatians to make a coat, will now arrive on May 28, 2021, pushed back five months from the previously set December 23, 2020 date. As of now, that’s the only movie that has staked out that weekend, but that likely won’t be the case as time goes on. Emma Thompson, Walter Hauser, and Joel Fry all star in the movie from I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie, and we’re still in the dark about how the film aims to tell us more about this wretched Disney villain.
Next, we have Fox’s The Woman in the Window. Based on the book of the same name by A.J. Finn, the film follows Dr. Anna Fox (Amy Adams), a recluse in New York City who drinks her days away alone in her apartment, watching classic films and spying on her neighbors. When new neighbors move into the house across the way, Anna sees the ideal family and watches them, only to witness a shocking event that changes her life. The film is directed by Joe Wright (Atonement, The Darkest Hour) and written by Tracy Letts (Lady Bird). After originally being set for release this fall, the film will now open on May 15, 2020, a decision made after test screenings confounded audiences.
Even though Dark Phoenix disappointed Disney quite a bit this year, there’s another comic adaptation from Fox on the way, but this one doesn’t sound like a blockbuster. The Empty Man is based on the comic of the same name, written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Vanesa R. Del Rey. The story focuses on the FBI and CDC as they enter a joint investigation of something called the Empty Man disease, believed to be the result of some suspicious activity by a cult. The disease causes fits of rage, hideous hallucinations, suicidal dementia, followed by death or a near lifeless “empty” state of catatonia, making it quite the horrifying case. James Badge Dale (Iron Man 3), Stephen Root (Barry), and Joel Courtney (Super 8) star in the movie, which has now been set for release on August 7, 2020.
Finally, we have Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, a musical which tells the the true story of Jamie Campbell (Max Hardwood), a 16-year-old who doesn’t quite fit in, is terrified about the future, but nonetheless is on the path to stardom as a drag queen. Thanks to the support of his friends and family, Jamie is able to triumph over the prejudice of bullies all the way into the spotlight. Based on the Broadway production of the same name and directed by Jonathan Butterell, the same man behind the stage production, this sounds like a feel-good musical that could be a surprise hit. The rest of the cast includes Richard E. Grant, Sharon Horgan and Shobna Gulati, and the movie has been set for release on October 23, 2020.
While none of these movies sounds like they’ll be runaway hits for Disney/Fox, the latter’s fall release makes us wonder if they see awards potential in the musical. Considering the subject matter and the love for musicals that the Academy likes to display, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Otherwise, the rest of the Fox movies slated for 2020 don’t seem all that promising. But maybe Disney just needs to do something with them and thinks there’s a way to make them profitable.
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