Disney dropped two major pieces of news today, revealing that J.J. Abrams will take over for Colin Trevorrow at the helm of Star Wars 9, which lead to the second item later today, when the Star Wars 9 release date was delayed from May 24, 2019 to December 20, 2019. That release date shift has lead to the studio shuffling some of its other dates around, most notably, giving the highly-anticipated Aladdin remake the old Star Wars 9 date, setting it for release on May 24, 2019. As of now, the live-action Aladdin movie will face Warner Bros.' Minecraft, with STX's Uglydolls and TriStar's The Rosie Project dropping May 10, 2019 and Disney/Marvel's Avengers 4 starting the summer movie season on May 3, 2019.
Deadline also reports that, despite Star Wars 9 shifting release dates before filming even begins, the studio is still standing firm with its May 25, 2018 release date for their Han Solo spin-off. After firing Phil Lord and Chris Miller in the middle of production, and bringing Ron Howard in to take over, the studio had insisted that the release date will remain unchanged. Production was supposed to have wrapped just a few weeks after the directors were fired, but shooting is still ongoing under the new director, although there is no indication as to when shooting may now wrap.
While the Han Solo date remains unchanged, the studio did reveal that a previously-unknown fairy tale movie set for August 3, 2018 will be the studio's Christopher Robin movie starring Ewan McGregor as a grown-up version of the Winnie the Pooh character. The movie will go up against 20th Century Fox's long-awaited sci-fi action-thriller The Predator and Lionsgate's Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral. The cast of Disney's Christopher Robin movie also includes Hayley Atwell as Christopher Robin's wife, with Jim Cummings voicing Winnie the Pooh, Brad Garrett voicing Eeyore and Alan Tudyk voicing Tigger. It isn't clear when production will begin yet, but with the cast shaping up and a new release date set, filming may start sooner rather than later.
The studio slotted two more films with dates that were previously announced, with Artemis Fowl taking the August 8, 2019 date, and Nicole, arriving November 8, 2019. As of now, none of these projects have any direct competition, but they're already being sandwiched in between some potential blockbusters. Artemis Fowl, an adaptation of the beloved sci-fi fantasy novels by Irish author Eoin Colfer, which has Kenneth Branagh attached to direct, will fall between Paramount's The SpongeBob Movie and an untitled Warner Bros. event film on August 8, 2019. Nicole, which stars Anna Kendrick as Santa Claus' daughter who is tasked with taking over the family business, will fall between an untitled Warner Bros./DC film on November 1, 2019 and the Melissa McCarthy holiday film Margie Claus, following the title character, Santa's wife, who has to fill in for the big guy when he goes mysteriously missing on Christmas Eve.
Finally, the studio also took one project off of its slate, Magic Camp, from director Mark Waters, which had been given an April 6, 2018 release. Production had started in January with a cast that is lead by Adam DeVine, Gillian Jacobs and Jeffrey Tambor. The story centers on a camp for young magicians run by Jeffrey Tambor's character, with Adam DeVine and Gillian Jacob playing former campers and rival magicians who return to the camp. It seems like Aladdin may have come out on top with all of these release date changes, getting a Memorial Day 2019 date that was previously occupied by Star Wars 9. Hopefully we'll hear more about all of these projects sooner rather than later.