- Cloverfield director Matt Reeves recently took over directing duties for the third Planet of the Apes remake, which now has an official release date. Fox is bringing the film to theaters on July 29, 2016 — two years after the second movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, arrives this summer. Reeves is headlining that film as well, which is set several years after the first installment and finds the survivors of a global plague fighting for their lives against Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his growing army of apes. Deadline reported that the studio has been screening a rough cut of Dawn for test audiences, so the feedback must be positive to usher in a third film so quickly. It should be a big summer for Fox, with two tentpole releases this summer (Dawn and Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past), and it's clearly planning the same for 2016, which is when Singer’s follow-up (titled X-Men: Apocalypse) is targeted for.
- The Poltergeist remake (that’s actually a sequel) will have some competition when it haunts theaters Valentine's Day weekend 2015 — the same time the highly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation debuts. We’re not sure Sam Rockwell, Jared Harris and Rosemarie DeWitt can compete with pervy Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, but it’s good for audiences to have options, right? Sam Raimi is producing the new take on Tobe Hooper’s 1982 film about “a family struggling to make ends meet relocates to an outdated suburban home and is confronted by an angry spirit who kidnaps their youngest daughter and challenges them to band together to rescue her from the clutches of evil.”
- The next Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Longest Ride, rolls into theaters on April 3, 2015 — pushed ahead several months from its original February release date. Currently, there is no director or cast attached to the project, but we do know that the story centers on “two couples whose lives intersect in profound and surprising ways.” Sounds very Sparks.
- Shawn Levy's Night at the Museum 3 will now go head-to-head with Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: There and Back Again and the Annie remake when it heads to theaters on December 19 this year (moved from Christmas Day). Franchise star Ben Stiller, who plays the security guard that interacts with a host of historical characters who come to life when the museum closes at night, will be joined by Ricky Gervais, Rebel Wilson, Steve Coogan, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams and Dan Stevens.
- And lastly, in not-so-surprising news, Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana have landed deals that secure a spot for their characters in the next three Avatar films. James Cameron is making the enviro-friendly sci-fi movies back-to-back with Josh Friedman, duo Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, and Shane Salerno on scripting duties. Plot details are being kept under wraps but we know that Worthington’s Jake Sully and Saldana’s Neytiri have kids. A few spoilers ahead: Stephen Lang will also reprise his role as Marine Colonel Quaritch — yes, even though he died in the first movie. Sigourney Weaver’s Dr. Grace Augustine, who was the head of the Avatar program, will join him in rising from the grave. The first Avatar sequel (which sounds more like a zombie flick with each passing day) arrives December 2016, with the second December 2017, and the third a year later.
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