STUDIO NEWS: 20th Century Fox announces 2011 release schedule
Compiled by R. Kurt Osenlund, The Good Life film critic
Release: Feb. 18
Director: John Whitesell
Producers: David Friendly, Michael Green
Screenplay by: Matthew Fogel, based on characters created by Darryl Quarles
Cast: Martin Lawrence, Brandon T. Jackson
Big Momma is back – and this time he has big backup: his teenage stepson Trent (Brendan T. Jackson). Martin Lawrence returns as FBI agent Malcolm Turner and as Turner’s deep-cover alter-ego Big Momma. Turner is joined by Trent, as they go undercover at an all-girls performing arts school after Trent witnesses a murder. Posing as Big Momma and as hefty coed Charmaine, they must find the murderer before he finds them.
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES
Release: March 25
Director: David Bowers
Screenplay by: Gabe Sachs & Jeff Judah, based upon the book by Jeff Kinney
Producers: Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson
Cast: Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Rachael Harris, Devon Bostick, and Steve Zahn
In this sequel to 2010’s surprise hit, Greg Heffley, the kid who made “wimpy” cool is back in an all-new family comedy based on the best-selling follow-up novel by Jeff Kinney. (Kinney’s Wimpy Kid” series has thus far sold 42 million books.) As he begins seventh grade, Greg and his older brother – and chief tormentor – Rodrick must deal with their parents’ misguided attempts to have them bond.
3-D Digital Animation – Comedy
Release: April 15
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Producer: Bruce Anderson
Voice cast: Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Mann, Tracy Morgan, George Lopez, will.i.am, Rodrigo Santoro, Jane Lynch, and Jamie Foxx
From the makers of the hit ICE AGE series comes RIO, a comedy adventure about taking a walk on the wild side. Blu is a domesticated Macaw who never learned to fly, living a comfortable life with his owner and best friend Linda in the small town of Moose Lake, Minnesota. Blu and Linda think he’s the last of his kind, but when they learn about another Macaw who lives in Rio de Janeiro, they head to the faraway and exotic land to find Jewel, Blu’s female counterpart. Not long after they arrive, Blu and Jewel are kidnapped by a group of bungling animal smugglers. With the help of street smart Jewel, and a group of wise-cracking and smooth-talking city birds, Blu escapes. Now, with his new friends by his side, Blu will have to find the courage to learn to fly, thwart the kidnappers who are hot on their trail, and return to Linda, the best friend a bird ever had.
WATER FOR ELEPHANTS
Release: April 22
Director: Francis Lawrence
Screenplay by: Richard LaGravenese, based on the novel “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen
Producers: Erwin Stoff, Gil Netter, Andrew Tennenbaum
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Christoph Waltz
Based on the acclaimed bestseller, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS presents an unexpected romance in a uniquely compelling setting. Veterinary school student Jacob meets and falls in love with Marlena, a star performer in a circus of a bygone era. They discover beauty amidst the world of the Big Top, and come together through their compassion for a special elephant. Against all odds -- including the wrath of Marlena's charismatic but dangerous husband, August -- Jacob and Marlena find lifelong love.
Release: June 3
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Written by: TBD, based on a story by Bryan Singer
Produced by: Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Oliver Platt, and Kevin Bacon
X-MEN FIRST CLASS charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga, and reveals a secret history of famous global events. Before mutants had revealed themselves to the world, and before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Not archenemies, they were instead at first the closest of friends, working together with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to prevent nuclear Armageddon. In the process, a grave rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.
MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS
Release: June 17
Director: Mark Waters
Screenplay by: TBD, based upon the book by Richard & Florence Atwater
Producer: John Davis
Cast: Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, and Angela Lansbury
In this family comedy, Jim Carrey is Mr. Popper, a driven businessman who is clueless when it comes to the important things in life – until he inherits six penguins. Popper’s penguins turn his swank New York apartment into a snowy winter wonderland – and the rest of his life upside-down. Filmed on a refrigerated soundstage with real Emperor Penguins, MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS is a contemporary adaptation of the classic book.
Release: Aug. 5
Director: David Gordon Green
Written by: TBD
Producer: Michael De Luca
Cast: Jonah Hill, and Sam Rockwell
Jonah Hill is the world's worst baby sitter. But this time, THE SITTER has met his match in three manipulative brats. When a shady endeavor he finds himself in goes bad, The Sitter and the malevolent youngsters embark on a wild chase through Manhattan.
Release: Aug. 12
Director: Tom Bezucha
Screenplay by: Thomas Bezucha & April Blair & Maria Maggenti; Screen story by: Kelly Bowe, based on the novel “Headhunters” by Jules Bass
Producers: Nicole Kidman, Rick Schwartz, Denise DiNovi, Alison Greenspan, Arnon Milchan
Cast: Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, Katie Cassidy, Cory Monteith, Andie MacDowell
Three graduates (Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, Katie Cassidy) fulfill their dreams of vacationing in Paris. They accidentally find themselves in a lavish world, where they live like royalty and experience romance. But at the end of their journey, they discover the true magic of friendship.
Release: Sept. 30
Director- Mark Mylod
Screenplay by: Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden, based on the novel “20 Times a Lady” by Karyn Bosnak
Producers: Tripp Vinson, Beau Flynn
Cast: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Zachary Quinto, Andy Samberg, Ari Graynor, Martin Freeman
Ally Darling (Anna Faris) panics after reading a magazine article that insists if you’ve slept with 20 people, you’ve missed Mr. Right. Her hunky new neighbor (Chris Evans) helps Ally track down her exes, while she helps him escape his!
THE BIG YEAR
Release: Oct. 14
Director: David Frankel
Screenplay by Howard Franklin, inspired by the book by Mark Obmascik
Producers: Karen Rosenfelt, Ben Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld, Curtis Hanson, Carol Fenelon
Cast: Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson
In this comedy for grown-ups, Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson portray three men who couldn’t be more different. The one thing they share is an uncommon passion for and competitiveness about …bird watching. In the biggest competition of their biggest year, they undertake an unforgettable trek through North America. Directed by David Frankel (“Marley and Me,” “The Devil Wears Prada”).
Release: Oct. 28
Written and directed by: Andrew Niccol
Producers: Eric Newman, Marc Abraham
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Vincent Kartheiser, Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Galecki
Welcome to a world where time has become the ultimate currency. You stop aging at 25, but there’s a catch: you’re genetically-engineered to live only one more year, unless you can buy your way out of it. The rich “earn” decades at a time (remaining at age 25), becoming essentially immortal, while the rest beg, borrow or steal enough hours to make it through the day. When a man from the wrong side of the tracks is falsely accused of murder, he is forced to go on the run with a beautiful hostage. Living minute to minute, the duo’s love becomes a powerful tool in their war against the system.
RISE OF THE APES
Science-Fiction / Science-Fact
Release: Nov. 23
Director: Rupert Wyatt
Written by: Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver
Producers: Peter Chernin, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Cast: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Andy Serkis, Tom Felton
An origin story in the true sense of the word, RISE OF THE APES is set in present day San Francisco. The film is a reality-based cautionary tale -- a science fiction/science-fact blend where mankind’s hubris leads to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy. Oscar®-winning visual effects house WETA Digital – employing certain of the groundbreaking technologies developed for “Avatar” – will render, for the first time ever in the film series, photo-realistic apes rather than costumed actors.
Release: Dec. 16
Director: Mike Mitchell
Written by: Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger, based on the characters Alvin and The Chipmunks created by Ross Bagdasarian and The Chipettes created by Janice Karman
Producers: Janice Karman, Ross Bagdasarian
Cast: Jason Lee, David Cross, Jenny Slate
On vacation aboard a luxury cruise ship, Alvin, Simon, Theodore and the Chipettes are up to their usual antics, turning the ship into their personal playground, until they become ‘chipwrecked’ on a desert island. As Dave Seville frantically searches for his AWOL charges, the ‘Munks and Chipettes do what they do best – sing, dance and wreak havoc. But they’re in for the biggest surprises and lessons of their lives when they embark on an island adventure with their new friend – a castaway who’s more than a match for Alvin and the Chipmunks.
WE BOUGHT A ZOO
Release: Dec. 23
Director: Cameron Crowe
Screenplay by: TBD, based on the book “We Bought a Zoo” by Benjamin Mee
Cast: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson
Acclaimed filmmaker Cameron Crowe (“Jerry Maguire”) directs a story about finding joy, the power of family, and the triumph of hope. A widowed father buys a dilapidated zoo in hopes of making a fresh start. While facing enormous odds to keep the zoo open, he must find the courage to recommit to his children and to their new life together. Based on a true story.