'Zephyr', our regular monitor of release date changes, is back today with word that Walt Disney Pictures is planning a rash of sequels of sorts in 2011.
The Mouse House has generally cut back in recent years to become more focused on its core demographic and give fewer titles better coverage. It's a move that's worked extremely well, so much so that other studios are keen to copy the plan in this post-strike and pre-economic recession environment.
Now according to 'Zephyr', the studio is filling up its schedule again with big sequels and franchise entries. Most exciting is that the studio plans to release a sequel to 80's sci-fi classic "Tron" in Digital Disney 3D in the Spring of 2011. Previous reports had Joseph Kosinski in talks to direct.
The studio also has "Cars 2", "National Treasure 3" and "Pirates of the Caribbean 4" scheduled for that year as well.
The most surprising listing is the "Cars" sequel. Despite it being John Lasseter's baby, "Cars" is generally considered Pixar's weakest effort to date and economically struggled to keep up with other films from the beloved studio.
Another "National Treasure" sequel isn't surprising as the first two have both been quite successful for the studio. Reports last month had the story following the Gates family to Easter Island in search of Atlantis and the natural clean power source that the lost empire relied on.
The biggest question mark right now is the fourth "Pirates". Reports say the franchise may try the "Wolverine" route - a more contained affair focusing on one character to downsize the budget. Other reports talk of a hyper-budget, ultra-fantastical feature, meaning anything from dinosaurs to Jules Verne-esque floating fortresses.