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Disney delays "Alamo' release

Forget the Alamo. For now.

Walt Disney Co. has taken the unusual step of postponing the opening of The Alamo, saying the much-anticipated film needs more work. Although trailers had begun promoting a Dec. 25 release, Disney said last week that the movie won't hit theaters until April.

Though it is common for studios to change opening dates, it is rare for a studio to do so this close to the planned release of a high-profile movie. Typically, such jockeying occurs in the early stages of production.

But Disney executives and filmmakers said The Alamo simply isn't ready.

"It's proven to be more difficult than we thought," producer Mark Johnson said. "With six major characters, getting the balance right has been very, very difficult. I have every confidence we will get there. Just having the Christmas date breathing down our neck was impeding our progress."

Disney said the delay was unrelated to early mixed reviews by test audiences. One viewer complained on the Ain't It Cool News Web site that the movie, which stars Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton and St. Petersburg native Patrick Wilson and runs two hours and 45 minutes, was overly long and that the characters were forced.