Universal has revealed their updated release schedule for the rest of 2010, and early 2011 and there are some interesting changes to their forthcoming slate.
The biggest adjustment comes to David Gordon Green's upcoming medieval stoner comedy "Your Highness." Starring Danny McBride, Zooey Deschanel, Natalie Portman, James Franco, Justin Theroux the film, originally slated to be released on October 1st, will now hit theaters on April 8th, 2011.
No reason has been given for the delay, but speaking at SXSW back in March, Green did mention the film was "a tough shoot" and with "huge special effects," saying the film was "by far the most expensive movie, by about double, of anything I’ve ever done. There was huge special effects, it’s just got so many different elements working, from puppets to guys in suits that can’t breathe, that have to pause the shot and take their masks off every three minutes. There was so many things going on and at the same time you’re trying to be funny and get a performances out of two guys and just have the backdrop feel alive and authentic... but then everyone needs a break and everyone's hands are sore from working a puppet mouth."
Given the vast start/stop nature of the production, Green said he shot an enormous amount of film. If we had to guess, we'd think that perhaps it's taking Green a bit longer than he thought to get an edit together and the special effects done: hence the delay. However, with its new April 8th release date, Universal is clearly marking the film as their spring anchor.
The other film receiving a minor bump is Matt Damon and Emily Blunt's sci-fi Philip K. Dick adaptation "The Adjustment Bureau." The film, which already reportedly has a theatrical trailer knocking around, was originally slated for July 30th but is now being taken out of the summer race and placed into a September 17, 2010 release. Perhaps this means Universal finally understands this was never a summer tentpole film to begin with, and is more the specialized-market/intelligent man's take on sci-fi (not a summer blockbuster).
The only other film of note to get a fresh release date is the upcoming Ron Howard comedy "Cheaters," which is now being released on January 14, 2011. Um, yeah. January is traditionally a dumping ground but with Sony moving "Green Hornet" it appears that in 2011, it will serve as the 'Hail Mary' spot for films studios are simply unsure of.