Here's a strange twist to the writer's strike, and a postponement excuse we haven't heard before: New Line has pushed back Inkheart from March 2008 to January 2009 because of what the strike is doing to the television industry. Huh? According to Variety, the studio figures that without first-run programs on TV, it can't reach enough viewers through commercials, which is apparently the only way to market a movie these days.

OK, I kind of get it, but I hardly ever watch TV, and I've seen about 1,000 TV ads for Cloverfield this week, so there has to be a way to reach an audience by the original release date of March 18. They could have bought some time during the Super Bowl or the Oscars or, since its a family fantasy, any children's program. Seriously, kids don't care if their show is in repeats or not. I'm not going to go the usual route and accuse Inkheart of having production troubles. Judging by the trailer and Erik's visit to the film's set last year, the movie looks and sounds like it's a lot of fun, and anyway, it's reportedly all finished and ready to deliver to theaters. But since the TV marketing excuse seems odd, I'll assume that New Line is simply trying to figure out how to market a movie that could be accepted as just another fantasy movie and go mostly ignored by the same public that didn't go to see The Golden Compass or The Seeker: The Dark is Rising.

Those of you who need your Brendan Fraser fix need not cry for too long. The actor can still be seen in New Line's Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, which comes out July 11, and Universal's The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, out August 1.

In other release date news, New Line has also pushed back Pride and Glory, which stars Edward Norton and Colin Farrell (which I remember them filming in Brooklyn back in Summer 2005), from March 14 to sometime in 2009, though the reasoning behind this one may have had more to do with Norton and Farrell having other new releases coming out soon, than it had to do with the writer's strike effect on TV ads. Meanwhile, Universal has moved up its Judd Apatow-produced comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall so that it doesn't have to go up against Sex in the City (which New Line will have no problem advertising on television) and Starship Dave (which I can't imagine really being a threat to anyone). Forgetting Sarah Marshall will now bow on April 18, which should perfectly fit in with some college kids' spring break. The same studio also pushed back its Baby Mama one weekend, from April 18 to April 25.