After a period of relative quiet in the House of Mouse’s feature film department, Disney’s magic cinema cauldron is brewing once more.
The studio announced today that Angelina Jolie’s live-action Maleficent — a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story from the perspective of its wicked villain — has been shifted from its original release date of March 14, 2014 to the far more high profile release of July 2, 2014, smack in the middle of the Independence Day holiday. It will also be released in 3-D.
With the March 2014 corridor now relatively open, Disney chose to slot The Muppets 2 for the following weekend, March 21, 2014. Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell are both officially signed up for the sequel, with Tina Fey reportedly in talks to join them.
The fifth Pirates of the Carribean film also officially landed a release date, for July 10, 2015, with Johnny Depp attached to reprise his role as Capt. Jack Sparrow and franchise rookie Jeff Nathanson (Tower Heist, Catch Me If You Can) penning the screenplay.
Finally, Brad Bird’s mysterious 1952 will arrive in 3-D on Dec. 19, 2014, with George Clooney officially signed up to star. Bird penned the script with Damon Lindelof and EW senior writer Jeff Jensen.
Disney also announced that Marvel Studios projects Captain America: The Winter Soldier (out April 4, 2014) and Guardians of the Galaxy (out Aug. 1, 2014) will both be released in 3-D.