The Other Disney Movies Coming Out in 2021
In March of 2019, Disney completed its acquisition of Fox’s significant media assets.
Since then, 20th Century Fox has simplified its name to 20th Century Studios, but it’s still an integral part of Disney’s movie empire.
Disney added popular franchises like Avatar, Ice Age, and Night at the Museum to its vast library and looks forward to mining these IPs.
As 2021 begins, Disney has readied several movies for theatrical release under the assumption that the pandemic will diminish in impact.
Here are all eight upcoming 2021 Disney theatrical releases from its 20th Century Studios division.
The King’s Man – March 12, 2021
Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, and Colin Firth starred in two different Kingsman movies.
These two titles earned roughly $765 million worldwide while costing only $175 million to produce.
Few Hollywood titles are ever that degree of profitable. As such, Fox loved the idea of a Kingsman prequel, which Disney has since inherited.
This story chronicles the foundation of the Kingsman spy organization.
While the Kingsman franchise has never stood out for its plausibility, this story will reach new heights of ridiculousness.
The King’s Man pits the Duke of Oxford against Rasputin. Yes, that Rasputin. Infamous hypnotist Erik Jan Hanussen is apparently involved as well.
So, if you expected a more subtle approach for the prequel, you’re out of luck.
Bob’s Burgers – April 9, 2021
This long-running Fox sitcom recently surpassed 200 episodes. It’s quietly 11 seasons into its run with no signs of going away anytime soon.
Even though Fox no longer owns the product, the network admires the show enough to give it a two-season renewal. So, it’ll last through at least 13 seasons.
This project also existed before Disney took ownership of Bob’s Burgers. In fact, Fox greenlighted the movie back in 2017.
Disney had scheduled Bob’s Burgers for release during the summer of 2020. Alas, the shutdown of movie theaters disrupted those plans.
The movie will follow Lois and her nightlight, Kuchi Kopi, as they enter her imaginary world.
However, the plot details have stayed secret for the most part. All anyone will say is that it’s a musical comedy written by the show’s creator.
We don’t even have a movie trailer yet, which is extremely unusual for a title debuting in three months.
So, your desire for this film is quite simple. If you watch Bob’s Burgers, you want to see it.
If not, well, you can watch the TV version of Bob’s Burgers on Hulu instead.
Ron’s Gone Wrong – April 23, 2021
Some movies have an easier time getting made. For example, Ron’s Gone Wrong comes from Locksmith Animation, a British animation studio.
One of the three co-founders of this business is Elisabeth Murdoch, whose father used to own Fox’s film studio.
Don’t let this shameless bit of nepotism turn you off Ron’s Gone Wrong, though.
The premise of this movie looks adorable. The setting is a futuristic society where robots interact with children as best friends.
Alas, one boy’s robot malfunctions. Yes, it’s Ron the Robot that goes wrong.
Disney doesn’t have much skin in this game, as Locksmith Animation immediately cut a deal with Warner Bros. after the Fox acquisition.
So, this will be Disney’s only Locksmith Animation release. As such, it’ll probably receive minimal studio support.
Free Guy – May 21, 2021
Hoo boy. Something’s gotta give here.
Disney had positioned Free Guy as a blockbuster release, slotting it during the 2020 holiday season to maximize box office potential.
Then, the pandemic caused a delay until May of 2021. For a while, Disney toyed with the idea of releasing Free Guy on Disney+ instead.
However, this title’s theatrical revenue potential is too significant to ignore.
So, Disney has slotted Free Guy as the biggest theatrical release for the Memorial Day holiday this year.
Historically, that date’s been terrific for film box office. However, most theaters remain closed now.
Disney will take a chance with Free Guy by starting it in theaters. They’re doing the same thing with Black Widow, but that’s an established franchise.
Free Guy counts as new, and there’s reason to believe it has a chance at greatness.
After all, 55 million people (!) watched the trailer within its first 24 hours of release.
People connect with the idea of Ryan Reynolds portraying an NPC in a Grand Theft Auto-style videogame.
Out of the eight movies on this list, I’m most excited about Free Guy. I also think that it’s the most likely box office winner of the batch in regular times.
That May release date still feels a bit early, though. I’m hopeful that Disney will adopt a day-and-date release strategy akin to what HBO Max is doing.
In that scenario, we can watch Free Guy at home on Disney+ if we’re not comfortable returning to the theater yet.
Deep Water – August 13, 2021
Early in the pandemic, people marveled at the news that Ben Affleck was dating Ana de Armas, the star of Knives Out.
The couple met on the set of Deep Water, which features a rather alarming plot synopsis.
A husband looks the other way regarding his wife’s numerous affairs to avoid a messy divorce.
Then, the man finds himself the subject of a murder investigation after his wife’s lovers start turning up dead.
This seems like a good time to mention that Disney kept 20th Century Studios to differentiate adult fare like this from its family fare.
The other interesting thing about Deep Water is that it’s one of the final Hollywood productions to finish filming before the onset of the pandemic.
Death on the Nile – September 17, 2021
In 2017, Hercule Poirot solved the crime of the Murder on the Orient Express.
Shakespearean actor Kenneth Branagh starred in the film which he also directed. And it was an unqualified box office winner.
The murder mystery earned $353 million against a $55 million budget. Obviously, Fox wanted a sequel, which we’re getting in September.
Branagh returns as the Belgian sleuth, Poirot, as does Tom Bateman, as the detective’s friend, Bouc.
The setting this time is as claustrophobic as the prior train cabins. This time, Poirot must unravel a murder mystery on a cruise ship.
Like the last film, Death on the Nile includes an all-star cast such as Gal Gadot, Russell Brand, Annette Bening, Sophie Okonedo, and Letitia Wright.
Disney had positioned this title as an awards season contender in 2020 before Coronavirus caused a delay until the fall of 2021.
The Last Duel – October 15, 2021
The entire reason why Ben Affleck is famous is a film where he didn’t star. Instead, he played a supporting character to his real-life friend, Matt Damon.
The duo wrote the screenplay for Good Will Hunting and then persuaded the studio to let them star in the project.
Affleck and Damon won their first Academy Award for the screenplay, which is relevant because they haven’t written one together since then…until now.
The story here involves the last sanctioned trial by combat duel ever in France.
The explanation for why the two men fight is…dark. You can read this Wikipedia entry from the source material if you want to know more.
West Side Story – December 10, 2021
Yes, it’s that West Side Story. In 1961, Rita Moreno starred in what was the perfect film project of the 1960s.
The original West Side Story became the number one blockbuster for the year. Then, it won 10 out of 11 Academy Awards for which it was nominated.
If you’re somehow unfamiliar with the premise, West Side Story adds a (somewhat) modern spin to the premise of Romeo and Juliet. Yes, I’m serious.
Also, Sharks fight with Jets, although it’s much less visually stimulating than it sounds.
The modern version of West Side Story represents Disney’s latest attempt to win Best Picture. This prize has eluded the company since, well, ever.
The 2021 release stars Ansel Elgort of Baby Driver/The Fault in Our Stars fame alongside a complete unknown, Rachel Zegler.
Whenever I mention Zegler on MickeyBlog, I feel compelled to post this YouTube clip:
That lady can sing. As for Elgort, we’ll find out in December.
By the way, I think we’ll all be heartbroken if Moreno doesn’t make a cameo in West Side Story akin to what Dick van Dyke did in Mary Poppins Returns.
Okay, that’s Disney’s full lineup of 20th Century Studios titles scheduled for theatrical release. It’ll be interesting to track how many stick to that plan.