By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 22, 2013 at 6:00AM
down the track in December is a Brit-produced biopic directed by John
Lee Hancock ("The Blind Side") about Walt Disney's prickly relationship
with "Mary Poppins" creator P.L. Travers, played by Emma Thompson; Tom
Hanks is the genial mustachioed studio boss. "It will make you laugh and
cry," promised Horn. This one looks like a tough sell to arthouse
adults and critics with Oscar hopes at best, but obviously, this origin
story of the classic musical had to be handled by Disney.
In March 2014 comes the next live-action "Muppets" movie, an international caper, followed by Angelina Jolie starring at the center of the action as another evil fairy queen, "Maleficent," directed by production designer Robert Stromberg ("Avatar," "Alice in Wonderland" and "Oz: the Great and Powerful") and written by Linda Woolverton ("Alice in Wonderland," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Lion King"). Elle Fanning, Sam Reilly, Miranda Richardson and Sharlto Copley co-star and "Oz"'s Joe Roth produces. "Star Trek" scribe Damon Lindeloff writes mystery adventure "Tomorrowland" (December 2014) for director Brad Bird ("Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"), set to star George Clooney.
Of course Disney boasts a strong animation slate, and Horn set out the upcoming offerings from the Pixar and Disney labels. He screened the entire Pixar prequel "Monsters University" (June 21), which reunites hulking blue Sulley (John Goodman) and diminutive Mike (Billy Crystal) as rival college freshmen who want to win a contest as scariest monster. As gorgeously wrought as usual, "Monsters U" played well but may boast a narrower parents-and-their-kids appeal than most Pixar films. Horn reminded that the company is 13 for 13, an unprecedented track record. I'm not surprised Disney decided to take "Planes" out theatrically in 3-D (August 9), from the world of "Cars."
Bob Peterson's "The Good Dinosaur," set in a world where an asteroid did not wipe out the species, comes in May 2014, followed by Pete Docter's little girl brain movie "Inside Out" (June 19, 2015). And "John Carter" writer-director Andrew Stanton is back in the Pixar fold at the helm of "Finding Nemo" sequel "Finding Dory," starring Albert Brooks and Ellen De Generis (November 15, 2015).
From Disney Animation comes its latest princess musical, this one based on Hans Christian Andersen, starring actress-singers Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel (the Snow Queen), along with Jonathan Groff (November 27, 2013) as well as 2014's "Phineas and Ferb," written by "Toy Story 3" scribe Michael Arndt and starring Thomas Brodie-Sangster.
The team at Lucasfilm is beavering away on the next "Star Wars" iteration due in 2015, written by Arndt, with at least one spin-off written by "Raiders of the Lost Ark" scribe Lawrence Kasdan. They're set to come out every two years, said Horn. Spielberg and Stacey Snider's DreamWorks is supplying three films a year to the Disney slate. Vince Vaughn stars as "Delivery Man" (October 4), a guy who has spawned more than 500 children. Bill Condon directs "The Fifth Estate" (November 15) starring go-to man Benedict Cumberbatch as Wikileaks radical Julian Assange and Daniel Bruhl.