With the Oscars stinking up the joint last night, the awards season is finally over, and we can look forward to the now-six-month-long summer blockbuster season, without the worry of accidentally stumbling across a film with a thought in its head. But the business being what it is i.e. increasingly reliant on release dates before scripts, or a director, or cast is attached, studios are already jostling for dates in 2012, which looks at least as crowded as this year's clusterfuck of a season.
The big dates have already been bagged: "The Avengers" is opening the season on May 4th, "Men in Black 3" bagged the memorial date slot long ago, "The Amazing Spider-Man" has the July 4th weekend to itself, and "The Dark Knight Rises" has the same late July slot that served its predecessor so well. But now, the slightly less high-profile programmers are starting to file in as well, with Sony announcing on Friday release dates for three of their summer hopefuls.
Probably the safest bet here is "I Hate You Dad," the latest collaboration between the studio and Adam Sandler, who's made his last two pictures with the company, as well as the upcoming "Jack and Jill." The new film at least has hopes of being stronger than the comedian's wretched recent work; it'll team Sandler with "Saturday Night Live" star Andy Samberg, with the older actor playing the younger's father, who moves in with his son shortly before his wedding, and finds himself falling out with the bride-to-be. No director is attached (and we imagine it'll be one of the yes-men from Sandler's stable, like Dennis Dugan), but the original script, by David Caspe, has been rewritten by the "Role Models" and "Wanderlust" team of David Wain and Ken Marino, so it's guaranteed to be something of an improvement on Sandler's recent form. The film will hit on June 22nd 2012, in the same slot that proved so profitable for Sandler and Sony last year on "Grown Ups."
Sandler's also producing another comedy set up at the studio for his pal Kevin James (having already been culpable for "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" and the upcoming "Zookeeper"), "Here Comes The Boom," about a school teacher who becomes an MMA fighter on the side. The film, which will almost certainly rely exclusively on James's stock in trade, the fatty-fall-over, is being helmed by Happy Madison staple Frank Coraci, is written by super-hack Allan Loeb ("The Dilemma," "Just Go With It") and had Salma Hayek attached at one point, although it's unclear if she's still involved. The picture hits on July 29th 2012, one week after "The Dark Knight Rises."
More geek-friendly is the remake of "Total Recall," from "Die Hard 4.0" director Len Wiseman, which will topline Colin Farrell, who bailed on David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis" in favor of a return to the tentpole world. Word's been quiet on this since Farrell signed on at the beginning of the year, but it's set to go before cameras in Toronto on May 15th, so we're sure we'll start to hear about further casting any day now. It'll land in theaters on August 3rd 2012, where, interestingly, it faces direct competition in the form of Tony Gilroy's "The Bourne Legacy," which is currently casting for its lead. Count on one of them moving their date before the end of the year. [Deadline]