Mary Poppins Returns a little sooner as Disney shuffles release dates for Jungle Cruise, Maleficent 2, and more

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Jul 12, 2018, 1:17 PM EDT (Updated)

Instead of sharing the spotlight with Santa (and a whole bunch of competing blockbusters) this year, Mary Poppins Returns will get a head start on the holiday moviegoing rush with an earlier release date as part of a Disney release calendar shuffle that affects planned and in-development films through 2021.

Originally slated to release on Christmas Day, Disney has confirmed that Mary Poppins Returns will see Emily Blunt umbrella-gliding into theaters as the titular magic nanny a little sooner, thanks to a schedule shift that instead will debut the film on December 19. 

The newest installment in Disney’s adaptation of P.L. Travers’ beloved book series also returns Dick Van Dyke, along with newcomers Ben Whishaw (Spectre), Emily Mortimer (Hugo), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana), Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, and Angela Lansbury as the Balloon Lady.

Looking ahead to 2019, Disney will release its live action Jungle Cruise movie a week later than originally planned, setting sail on October 11 instead of the originally-scheduled October 4. Blunt also is set to star in the big-screen take on Disney’s popular theme park attraction, alongside Dwayne Johnson, Paul Giamatti, Jesse Plemons, and Edgar Ramirez.

Spring of 2020 will see the return of Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning in Maleficent 2, which will hit screens on May 29, the Friday immediately following Memorial Day. Starring alongside Jolie (Maleficent) and Fanning (Princess Aurora) are Chiwetel Ejiofor, Robert Lindsay, and Michelle Pfeiffer. 

In addition to the above titles, Disney’s release calendar is positively crammed through the end of 2019. The live action Christopher Robin film will bring the Hundred Acre Wood to theaters this August 3, ahead of holiday anchors Ralph Breaks the Internet (on November 21) and Mary Poppins Returns (on December 19). 

Things pick up again in the spring of 2019 with Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel on March 8, followed by a slew of Disney releases highlighted by Avengers 4 (May 3), the live action Aladdin movie (May 24), Toy Story 4 (June 21), the live action Lion King movie (June 19), Artemis Fowl (August 9), Jungle Cruise (October 11), Frozen 2 (November 27), and — wait for it — J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode IX on December 20.

As part of its overall film calendar adjustment, Disney’s also pushed back the release of Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones 5 movie by a full year. Harrison Ford’s next appearance as the whip-cracking professor will have to wait until July 9, 2021 to round out the Indy saga, twelve months later than the studio’s original July 10, 2020 target.

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