- Twentieth Century Fox has set release dates for "Fantastic Four II" and the next "Wolverine"
- There's also a release date set for a mystery third Marvel film
- The rebooted "Fantastic Four" will arrive in 2015, with the sequel set for 2017
It's never too early to make movie plans. Especially when you're a studio with a billion-dollar franchise at stake.
Twentieth Century Fox, which has only recently cast its new "Fantastic Four" and has another "X-Men" movie out this summer, has announced release dates for "Fantastic Four II," the next "Wolverine" standalone — and a mystery third Marvel film.
The rebooted "Fantastic Four," with Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, and Miles Teller reportedly aboard, is scheduled for June 19, 2015, but Fox has already penciled in a sequel for July 14, 2017.
Meanwhile, Hugh Jackman's "Wolverine," who stars in this May's "X-Men: Days of Future Past," will return in another standalone movie, targeted for March 3, 2017. His last solo effort, 2013′s "The Wolverine," grossed $414.8 million globally.
That film's director, James Mangold, is attached to the next sequel as well. (Another "X-Men" all-star movie, "X-Men: Apocalypse," will open May 27, 2016.)
Fox will deliver another Marvel film on July 13, 2018, but the studio hasn't yet announced which superhero will be suiting up. Since Fox owns only "X-Men" and "Fantastic Four," there's speculation that the film could be either a crossover or another standalone for a main character from one of those franchises.
In other Fox release-date news, Matthew Vaughn's "The Secret Service" has been bumped up from March 6, 2015 to October 24 of this year, swapping dates with an untitled Vince Vaughn movie.
Daniel Radcliffe's "Frankenstein" is moving from January 16, 2015, to October 2, 2015. Liam Neeson's "Taken 3" will open January 9, 2016 -- right in the heart of Neeson Season! Fox is also counting on a still-unspecified Ridley Scott movie for a March 4, 2016 release date.
Studios like to stake out prime release-date real estate years in advance for their biggest blockbusters, to best protect their properties and theoretically maximize the industry's box-office by preventing costly head-to-head showdowns. It doesn't always work: "Captain America 3" is currently on a collision course with "Batman Vs. Superman" on May 6, 2016.