While everyone is still picking their jaws up off the floor from the latest round of "The Dark Knight Rises" casting, Disney has quietly gone ahead and shifted the release dates for two of their major 2012 tentpoles, and they're making some bold moves.
First up, Andrew Stanton's ambitious live-action sci-fi film "John Carter of Mars" has moved from June 8, 2012 to March 9, 2012, where it will square off against Ridley Scott's "Prometheus." Talk about major brass balls. The film boasts a pretty stellar cast including Taylor Kitsch, Samantha Morton, Dominic West, Polly Walker, Willem Dafoe, Lynn Collins, Bryan Cranston, Ciaran Hinds, James Purefoy, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong and Daryl Sabara, and is an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' "John Carter of Mars" series, about a Civil War soldier who is transported to Mars and embarks on alien adventures. It will be interesting to see which of these movies will blink first, but don't be surprised if another move happens.
Meanwhile, Tim Burton's feature-length version of his short, "Frankenweenie," abandons its March 9, 2012 date and moves all the way to October 5, 2012 where there is no competition. Yet. We presume the move is to give Tim Burton some breathing room as he's gearing up to shoot "Dark Shadows" this spring and getting another film in the can right after is probably a Herculean task. So far, the voice cast of the animated film will include Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Martin Landau and Catherine O'Hara, but we're sure Burton will figure out a way to get Helena Bonham Carter in there somewhere too. [Deadline]