Disney, you’re a sly one. The studio announced today the release dates for five new movies, but four of those movies are shrouded in mystery. The film we know the most about is the fantasy drama The Odd Life of Timothy Green, which stars Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton as an infertile couple who wish for a child and, lo and behold, magically wind up with a 10-year-old boy (C.J. Adams). It’s slated to hit theaters on Aug. 15, 2012.
More exciting, however, are those four other projects Disney is teasing us about: An untitled 3-D film from Coraline director Henry Selick (Oct. 4, 2013); two untitled Marvel movies (May 16, 2014 and June 27, 2014); and Pixar’s summer 2014 offering (out May 30). No further details are known at this time, although Disney will likely pull back the curtain at its D23 Expo on Aug. 20. Until then, we can only speculate on what these enigmatic movies might be.
In regard to the two Marvel flicks, we already know that The Avengers is set for May 4, 2012, Iron Man 3 will debut May 3, 2013, and Thor 2 will swing its hammer on July 26, 2013. One of the two new films will probably be a Captain America sequel, and an Avengers sequel is also a possibility. Other options: an adaptation of Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, or Guardians of the Galaxy.
As for Pixar, the Scottish fantasy adventure Brave will be released next summer on June 22, 2012, while the prequel Monsters University will arrive on June 21, 2013. Then we have an unnamed Pixar film on Nov. 27, 2013, and all we know about that one is that it’s an original film. (There have been rumors that it could be the next project from Up director Pete Docter, and that it might have something to do with dinosaurs.)
As a result, I have an inkling that Pixar’s summer 2014 movie will be a sequel. When I chatted with Pixar head John Lasseter earlier this year, he discussed how much his studio longed to make sequels but couldn’t under Pixar’s original distribution deal with Disney. “We had a deal with Disney at the time [in which] we had to do five movies, and sequels did not count,” said Lasseter. But then Disney bought Pixar in 2006. “And boom, we got control of our characters back,” explained Lasseter. “Disney says, ‘We want you to do the sequels,’ and we have these pent-up ideas. We love making sequels because we love our characters — they’re like family members to us.”
Personally, I hope I’m wrong and the 2014 movie is actually an original story. But if we assume it’s a sequel of some sort, what could it be? If any Pixar film seems to be begging for another chapter, it’s The Incredibles. But I doubt Pixar would move forward on an Incredibles sequel without writer-director Brad Bird, who’s currently deep into post-production for Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol and also has the disaster movie 1906 in the works.
I’m sure no one would complain about a Finding Nemo sequel, either, but I’m placing my money on Toy Story 4. For one thing, when Tom Hanks was asked about a possible Toy Story sequel, he responded, “I think they’re working on it now.” And considering Toy Story 3 grossed $1.1 billion worldwide, it would only seem inevitable that another Toy Story movie is around the corner. Finally, if there is a Toy Story 4 and it’s released on May 30, 2014, that’d represent a four-year gap between Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4. And how long of a wait was there between the first two Toy Story pictures? Four years.