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Fox, Disney Set Tentpole Film Premiere Dates

Sequels to ‘Thor,’ ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ and ‘X-Men: First Class’ coming


For those who just can’t wait to see Chris Hemsworth again in “Thor 2” won’t have to wait as long as originally thought.

Walt Disney Pictures, which owns the Marvel properties, said it is moving the premiere of the “Thor” sequel up a week to Nov. 8, 2013. That is not expected to affect production of the film, and most likely is going to give a superhero boost to the Thanksgiving holiday a little bit early.

“Thor 2” will feature the return of not only Hemsworth, but also Tom Hiddleston and Natalie Portman, who both appeared in the original 2011 film that grossed $449.3 million worldwide. Hiddleston played the big bad in “The Avengers,” which continues to dominate the box office this year, while Portman received only a passing reference from an already character-packed film.

The biggest difference in the sequel, however, will actually come from behind the scenes with “Game of Thrones” and “Lost” director Alan Taylor taking over for Kenneth Branagh, who is currently in pre-production on the Kate Winslet drama “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.”

Taylor has also directed series such as “Bored to Death,” “Mad Men” and “The Sopranos” among others.

Fans of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “X-Men: First Class” are going to have to wait a little longer for their sequels, however. Twentieth Century Fox announced that “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is set for Memorial Day 2014, while “X-Men: First Class 2” will roll out July 18, 2014, according to The Wrap.

Rupert Wyatt, who helped turn a smaller-budget sub-$100 million Planet of the Apes film into one that grossed $469 million worldwide, is back for the sequel. It looks like Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver are back as well to write the film, joining another scribe, Scott Z. Burns, of “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “Contagion.”

Andy Serkis, who played the CGI character Caesar in the first film, is so far the only announced returning cast for the sequel.

Matthew Vaughn is back for the untitled X-Men sequel, which is reportedly based on a script by Jane Goldman and Simon Kinberg. Goldman is the only one returning from a writing team on the first film that also included Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz and Vaughn. Kinberg wrote the screenplay for 2009’s “Sherlock Holmes” as well as the 2008 film “Jumper,” but was also involved in a prior franchise dud, working the screenplay for “X-Men: The Last Stand” in 2006.

“First Class” earned $352.6 million worldwide, easily surpassing its $160 million budget. It starred James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Kevin Bacon.

“Robopocalypse,” which almost sounds like a rejected Saturday original movie title from Syfy, has been moved to April 25, 2014, while “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” will hit theaters Aug. 16, 2013.

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