It seems crazy to me that studios "claim" release dates two and three years before the movies come out. I understand that it builds up anticipation, but hanging a release date over filmmakers' heads can't help the end result. For example, I attended a screening of the director's cut of Troy the other night (very cool), with director Wolfgang Petersen introducing. He discussed how at test screenings he realized the score of the film wasn't working. He wound up replacing it in a huge rush to make the release date, and it became one of many aspects of the final film he was unhappy with. Why not just give directors time to make the films they want instead of all the "starting without a finished script" -type stuff that goes on? Well, two upcoming movies -- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (or as I call it, TCONTVOTDT -- it just flows better) and The Wolf Man -- seem to be doing just that.
Prince Caspian, the second Narnia adventure, is still set for release this May, but TCONTVOTDT has been moved from May 1st, 2009, to May 7th, 2010. Taking its place on the '09 date is something called G-Force, "a Jerry Bruckheimer family-adventure about a band of animal commandoes trying to stop an evil billionaire taking over the world." If that plot description is any indication, Summer '09 is going to be a magical time at the cineplex! Mark Romanek'sThe Wolf Man, with Benicio del Toro in the title role, is being moved from November 18th, 2008 to Spring 2009. I love del Toro, and am really looking forward to that one. I wonder if the notoriously hairy Robin Williams was considered for Wolf Man? Might have saved money on makeup. Reasons have not been given for the release date changes, but Empire speculates that it likely has something to do with the actor's strike that could shake up the industry next June. Hopefully, putting some extra time and care into these movies will be a good thing.