By Edward Davis | The Playlist May 6, 2014 at 9:03PM
Looks like some serious shuffling is happening down at the house of WB right now. Looking ahead at their 2016 and 2017 slate, Warner Bros. is making some moves—the most significant of which involves losing a key Christmas slot for December 2015 for Ben Affleck's next directorial project, "Live By Night," an adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel.
And with his Batman role coming up in "Batman Vs. Superman," our guess is that scheduling on that movie would interfere with or veer too closely to Affleck's proposed start date on "Live By Night.” Thus, what was once scheduled to arrive in December 2015 will now have to wait ten more months for an October 7, 2016 release date.
Don’t forget that a “Justice League” movie is alleged to shoot back to back with “Batman Vs. Superman” and this lends credence to the rumor, because certainly shooting on two major blockbusters would eat up a lot of Affleck’s free time. And WB waits for no pet project, even from an Oscar winner. Their D.C. Universe movies are going to take precedence over everything else.
As far as other new Warner Bros. related dates, they’re moving heavily into animation, carving out two dates for two undisclosed animated movies. Untitled Warner Animation Group Project #1 is scheduled for Feb 10, 2017, and Untitled Warner Animation Group Project #2 is set for Feb 9, 2018. Given WB's success with "The LEGO movie" which also opened in February of this year, we'd imagine those two dates are likely 'LEGO' movie sequels or even spin-offs.
WB has also dated Jeff Nichols' John Carpenter-esque sci-fi film "Midnight Special" which is set for a November 25, 2015 release. It’s an Oscar-friendly date, but this one sounds like more of a genre play, so you probably shouldn’t think otherwise. Additionally, dated by Sony/Tristar today are two 2015 projects, one is Robert Zemeckis' currently untitled film about “Man On Wire” documentary subject Philippe Petit (formerly known as “To Reach The Clouds”) starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and the other is "Ricki And The Flash" which is a Diablo Cody-written, Jonathan Demme-directed comedy drama starring Meryl Streep.
Zemeckis’ Philippe Petit movie also stars Ben Kingsley, Charlotte LeBon, James Badge Dale and it opens October 2, 2015. In Demme's "Ricki And The Flash," Streep plays a woman who abandoned her family when she was younger to find fame and fortune in California. Decades later, she returns home to be a mother again. Sounds very much in the dark and dysfunctional vein of “Rachel Getting Married,” so no wonder they chose Demme to direct. It’s set for a June 25, 2015 release date.