This doesn’t seem ordinary. Between now and 1 year from today Disney still has 4 Untitled Live Action films on their slate. 2 are listed as Untitled Disney Live Action and 2 as Untitled 20th Century. There are 10 Untitled films in 2022 overall. It’s understandable because of the pandemic that Disney stopped announcing dates so far out. However, now that things are slowly returning to relative states of normalcy, productions are moving, and release date delays have ended, Disney should shine some light on those film identities.
Let’s look specifically at the 4 that are less than a year from release and see what we can predict.
January 7, 2022 – Untitled 20th Century
April 8, 2022 – Untitled Disney Live Action
May 27, 2022 – Untitled Disney Live Action
June 10, 2022 – Untitled 20th Century
What Are The Untitled 20th Century Films?
Let’s start with the easiest: the January and June 20th Century films are almost certainly The Bob’s Burgers Movie and Canterbury Glass. Bob’s had been scheduled for 2021 but was removed from the slate during the pandemic with the reasoning that they wanted the film to have a proper theatrical release to differentiate from the usual TV fare. We haven’t even seen a poster or art yet, but it’s waiting for release.
David O Russell’s Canterbury Glass starring Margot Robbie, Taylor Swift, Christian Bale, and Robert Deniro wrapped production in March, so pencil that in for one of those dates.
Other upcoming 20th Century films, Children of Blood and Bone and Starlight, haven’t started filming yet so count them out.
Two recently announced Kaitlyn Dever films, No One Will Save You and Rosaline (also starring Isabela Merced) are possibilities for some of the later 2022 Untitled 20th Century dates. With 5 Untitled 20th Century dates and 6 films mentioned let’s move on.
What Are The Untitled Disney Live Action Films?
The May date is almost certainly intended for The Little Mermaid. Disney wouldn’t stick something in its Memorial Day weekend slot unless they planned on it being a huge blockbuster. Nothing else they’ve filmed fits here and anything worthy they were to start now would struggle to make it through a proper post-production and marketing time. Plus, with CoVid restrictions, Disney isn’t going to cut it close. Some of the people I spoke to believe the date will be abandoned and that Little Mermaid won’t even be ready until 2023 due to the extensive CGI that will be required.
5 Disney movies filming or recently completed include Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers, Pinocchio, Disenchanted, Crater, and Peter Pan and Wendy – but all of them are to be released as Disney+ Originals!
Other Disney Live Action films In The Works:
Josh Gad’s Shrunk, which will see icon Rick Moranis return to acting to reprise his role of Wayne Szalinski, hasn’t begun filming. The DisInsider recently shared that they’re looking at early next year for production start which means the film won’t be out until 2023. My guess is that one of Rick’s requirements to sign on was that the film would hit cinemas and I don’t blame him.
Marc Webb’s Snow White starring Rachel Zegler is also destined for 2023 unless they get going really fast and keep the CGI needs down.
The Russo Brothers Hercules, Aladdin 2, Cruella 2, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Bambi, Jungle Book 2, and Lion King 2, are too far from filming to make 2022 – some have gone radio silent since before the pandemic, others are more active, but have not been cast, and Two-ella was only announced days ago.
Robin Hood, Sword in the Stone, and Lilo and Stitch are expected to be Disney+ Originals, although news has gone quiet on these three as well.
Unless I’m missing something I’m not sure how Disney is going to fill out their 4 Untitled Disney Live Action films next year. It’s possible one final impact of the Pandemic is a lighter year of theatrical releases. They could also purchase / acquire some films, but they usually do this for Searchlight and Searchlight releases are listed separately on their slates.
One super wildcard idea is that Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (scheduled for February 2023) could move up to 2022 and Marvel could reshuffle their releases next year. Not long ago, Disney had an Untitled Marvel date in October 2022. With 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness wrapped and The Marvels, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Ant-Man 3 all filming this month, it’s not completely unreasonable that Disney could bump up the upcoming Paul Rudd masterpiece in place of a Disney Live Action film. Add to that the fact that the previous 2 Ant-Man films released in July and the July 29th, 2022 date for Indiana Jones 5 could be in jeopardy as a result of Harrison Ford’s injury... yeah, this is a stretch but isn’t that sorta Ant-Man’s thing?
We’re left with a lot of questions. By the end of summer I expect some of them to be resolved. Until then we’re left scratching our heads as to how Disney intends to fill out next year. Since Disney plans to release considerably more original films on Hulu and Disney+, one also questions why they aren’t reducing their theatrical slate. Perhaps 20th Century Studios becomes more of a content engine for Hulu and Disney+?
Am I missing something? Please feel free to leave a comment letting me know any films I’ve forgotten! How do you think the slate will fill out?