News Bits: Z, Insidious, Hocus, Altar

Z for Zachariah
The first photo has been released from Craig Zobel’s film adaptation of Robert C. O’Brien post-apocalyptic 1974 novel “Z for Zachariah” starring Chris Pine, Margot Robbie and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

The thriller follows a small-town girl (Robbie) who lives alone on a farm in the only valley with breathable air in the wake of nuclear war. Her world is turned upside down when two strangers wander in from the forest. [Source: Variety]

Release Dates
Disney Animation Studios (“Frozen,” “Big Hero 6”) has announced the titles and dates for its next two animated films. “Zootopia” will open first on March 4th 2016, whilst later in the year comes “Moana” on November 11th 2016.

Meanwhile, Focus Features has pushed back the release date of “Insidious: Chapter Three” by one week with the film now slated to open June 5th next year. Leigh Whannell takes over the directing reigns on the film which also stars Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Lin Shaye, and Angus Sampson. [Source: Bloody Disgusting]

Hocus Pocus 2
Participating in a Reddit AMA last week, Bette Midler says she and her original “Hocus Pocus” co-stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy are game for a sequel:

“Inundate the Disney company. Because I have canvassed the girls and they are wiling to do it, but we have no say in it, so if you want a ‘Hocus Pocus 2 ask the Walt Disney company. You have to go to send in your cards to the Walt Disney company. The ball’s in their court.” [Source: Reddit]

Altar Rock
Andrzej Bartkowiak (“Exit Wounds,” “Romeo Must Die”) has signed on to direct the Boston Marathon bombing-inspired indie thriller “Altar Rock” at Moody Independent.

The storyline is being kept under wraps aside from the action being set in Nantucket. Mark Donadio and Miriam Marcus will produce and shooting kicks off next year in Massachusetts. [Source: Variety]