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January 14, 2013

‘Pirates,’ ‘Muppets’ sequel news: Disney release date update

Posted in: Movies

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." (Peter Mountain/Disney)

Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” (Peter Mountain / Disney)

OK, movie fans. Disney would like you to update your moviegoing calendar for 2014 and beyond.

In a bit of release date housekeeping, the studio announced today updated release information for some of the biggest movies on its long-range schedule, including the next installment in the rum-soaked adventures of one eyeliner-favoring pirate.

The fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie will open July 10, 2015, with screenwriter Jeff Nathanson handling scripting duties for the movie, which, like its predecessors, will be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and will star Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow.

(The previous entry in the franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” directed by Rob Marshall, earned upward of $1 billion at the worldwide box office.)

Chris Evans plays Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, in "The Avengers." (Marvel Studios)

Chris Evans plays Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, in “The Avengers.” (Marvel Studios)

Two Marvel films, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” due April 4, 2014 , and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” due Aug. 1, 2014, will be released in 3-D. The former sees Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers struggling to come to terms with the modern world and will be directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (“Welcome to Collinwood,” “You, Me and Dupree”), who take the reins from “Captain America: The First Avenger” filmmaker Joe Johnston.

The latter will be directed by James Gunn, the “Super” filmmaker who got into some trouble late last year over controversial comments he had posted on his blog in a post titled “The 50 Superheroes You Most Want to Have Sex With.” He apologized for the remarks on his Facebook page.

No confirmation as of yet on who will star.

Maleficent from "Sleeping Beauty." (Disney)

Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty.” (Disney)

Also in 3-D, “Maleficent” will open July 2, 2014, with the Angelina Jolie-starrer purporting to explain the events that turned the powerful sorceress from the 1959 animated classic “Sleeping Beauty” to the path of evil. The film’s cast also includes Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville. “Maleficent” is directed by Robert Stromberg, who won an art direction Oscar for Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.”

The villain counts one very famous filmmaker among her fans, Guillermo del Toro: “Let me tell you how much of a fan I am,” Del Toro told Hero Complex back in 2011. “I have a collection of over two or three dozen Maleficent figures, some of them four or five feet tall. I own about 10 pieces of conceptual art from ‘Sleeping Beauty’ that include the dragon and a lot more pieces that are just from ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ It’s one of my three favorite Disney films.”

Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell will star opposite Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy in “The Muppets 2,” which is set to open March 21, 2014. James Bobin, who directed 2011′s “The Muppets,” returns to helm the movie from a script he co-wrote with Nick Stoller. Stoller co-scripted the earlier movie with its star Jason Segel.

Miss Piggy and Kermit in "The Muppets." (Scott Garfield / Disney Enterprises)

Miss Piggy and Kermit in “The Muppets.” (Scott Garfield / Disney Enterprises)

Segel isn’t set to return for the new production, but on the set of the first movie in early 2011, he openly discussed his fondness for Jim Henson’s charming tactile creations in a world of rapidly advancing technology and his belief in their enduring appeal.

“I think there’s something timeless about the Muppets in this world of CGI,” Segel said at the time. “Kids like to be able to touch something and know that it’s real. You should see a kid come to set and talk to Kermit. They’re looking straight at the puppet but not at the puppeteer, even though the puppeteer is completely visible. [To] a child, that’s real, the [puppet] is real that it’s talking to and you can never replace that with CGI or animation.”

Brad Bird’s “1952″ will open Dec. 19, 2014, in 3-D — Bird (“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”) wrote the script with the movie’s producer, “Lost” mastermind Damon Lindelof, and, naturally, it’s veiled in mystery. What is known is that George Clooney will star.

– Gina McIntyre

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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