By Michael Lynderey
March 1, 2010
First, in a bit of bad news, it looks like Taylor Lautner's dropped out of two of those five movies I tallied up last time: Max Steel and Northern Lights. That still leaves three, and one can always hope (?) for more to be added. Next, as previously noted, the first half of February came loaded with an increasingly gargantuan number of reboot announcements. Not to be outdone, though, a much more pleasant film type - the sequel - looks to keep having its day in the sun, too, with a couple of entries getting more seriously underway lately:
- Mission: Impossible IV (scheduled for May 27, 2011) - Yup, Tom Cruise will be back, though MI 3 director J.J. Abrams is only going to produce this one. Between this and July 2010's Knight & Day, Cruise is clearly angling to get back in the good graces of the Summer Movie Gods, but gee, the last Mission: Impossible ended on such a nice moment of closure, so do we really need this one?
- New Year's Day - New Line announced this follow-up to Valentine's Day almost a week before that film's release. No director or cast yet, but it ought to be a hoot to watch name after name cast to appear in this one. Now, to better explain the plot here, I'll paraphrase a tagline from Friday the 13th, Part 2 (1981):
On Valentine's Day, 2010, some two dozen movie stars negotiated romantic trials and tribulations while engaging in comedic misadventures, all to the tune of a merry $100 million box office score.
Why should New Year's Eve, 2010, be any different?
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (scheduled for May 20, 2011) - Wait a minute here, they're really making another one of these? Huh. Johnny Depp will be the only star reprising his role, with the regular dose of eccentric English-accented villainy to be delivered by Ian McShane this time around - playing real-life pirate Blackbeard, or perhaps Blackbeard's ghost (neither character should be confused with Bluebeard - you know, the guy who killed his wives; McShane could play him, too). Penelope Cruz is also on board as a perhaps less glowering female lead than her predecessor, Keira Knightley. Rob Marshall - he of Chicago and Nine fame - will helm. All requests to keep the runtime at a maximum of two hours this time have so far been declined. But I will keep pleading.
Riddick 3 - Because the $57 million that The Chronicles of Riddick took in weren't low enough. David Twohy will again write and direct, as he did for the first two films in the series, and Vin Diesel will return in what is being touted as a less action-oriented take on the Riddick character. Vin Diesel, by the way, seems to be plotting to finally make all those sequels he never did back in the early 2000s, with xXx 2 (for real, this time) and two more Fast and Furious movies also on his to-do list, although The Pacifier 2 now appears to be on the back-burner (hey, it can't all be good news).