November 25, 2020
Coronavirus movie delays: New release dates for 2020 and 2021 blockbusters

Coronavirus movie delays: New release dates for 2020 and 2021 blockbusters


For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

When the latest James Bond premiere was called off because of the coronavirus outbreak, it came as a shock. But that was just the first in a cascade of movie blockbusters being canceled or postponed, causing a huge reshuffle of the release schedule throughout 2020 and into 2021.

Delays have hit big movies including  Wonder Woman 1984, Marvel’s Black Widow, James Bond thriller No Time to DieMulanF9 and A Quiet Place Part 2. But many of the major movies have now named premiere dates, so we’ve laid out the revised box office calendar to see when (or if) they’re coming to a movie theater near you.

The health and well-being of people and families around the world remains the most important thing, but these movie cancelations affect more than just the balance sheets of major studios. Movie theater closures are just one sign of the disruption the coronavirus is wreaking upon people and businesses around the world. You can stream a bunch of recent releases early, but a return to the movies will signal a return to normality when we come out the other side of this strange time. Here’s how the new release dates stack up:

Soul (June 19)

Pixar takes you on a jazz odyssey for this musical animation, which is currently sticking to its planned early summer release date. As the pandemic continues, that may prove to be optimistic — but Disney has so many films in the schedule it’ll struggle to find a new slot for Soul should theaters remain closed.  

Original release date: Unchanged

Tenet (July 17)

Christopher Nolan’s time-twisting thriller Tenet has also held its nerve and stuck to its planned date even as the rest of the summer’s films were postponed or rescheduled. But even if theaters are open again in July, audiences may still be wary of gathering. 

Original release date: Unchanged

Mulan (July 24)

Mulan was pulled from theaters just before it was due to be released.


Disney

Disney’s live-action Mulan reboot was pulled on March 12, just a few hours after similar announcements for A Quiet Place 2 and F9. The postponement came less than two weeks before it was supposed to open — late enough that some viewers and critics saw the film at preview screenings, calling the new Mulan “majestic” and “thrilling.” The day after Mulan was delayed, Walt Disney Studios said it was pausing production on other live-action films. Disney then named a new date when it reshuffled its entire slate on April 3.

Original release date: March 27, 2020

Wonder Woman 1984 (Aug. 14)

Warner Bros held out until March 24 before announcing that Wonder Woman 2 would be delayed, but with most other blockbusters postponed it was clear the DC comics sequel would have to move from its planned June release date. But where many big movies have moved much later in the year or been postponed indefinitely, Wonder Woman 1984 is rather optimistically committed to hitting theaters in August.   

Original release date: June 2020

Bill and Ted Face the Music (Aug. 21)

Original release date: Unchanged

Monster Hunter (Sept. 4)

Original release date: Unchanged

The King’s Man (Sept. 18)

Original release date: Unchanged

Without Remorse (Sept. 18)

Original release date: Unchanged

Candyman (Sept. 25)

This horror remake directed by Nia DaCosta and written by Jordan Peele has been pushed to September.

Original release date: June 12, 2020

Bios (Oct. 2)

Original release date: Unchanged

The French Dispatch (Oct. 16)

Wes Anderson returns with more idiosyncratic art-housery in The French Dispatch, starring Timothée Chalamet, Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand.

Original release date: July

Halloween Kills (Oct. 16)

Original release date: Unchanged

Black Widow (Nov. 6)

Florence Pugh and Scarlett Johansson wait a little longer to team up in Black Widow.


Disney

Originally scheduled for May 1, Marvel’s Black Widow has been pushed back to Nov. 6. In March, Disney initially postponed the film to an unspecified date, then on April 3 confirmed Black Widow would debut this winter in a reshuffle of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe — including Captain Marvel, Thor, Black Panther and Doctor Strange sequels due over the next couple of years.

Original release date: May 1, 2020

Red Notice (Nov. 13)

Original release date: Unchanged

No Time to Die (Nov. 25)

Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007, directed by Cary Fukunaga and co-written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, was the first major movie to delay release. No Time to Die had already lost its original director and changed its release date twice, but producers feared the closure of many theaters around the globe due to coronavirus would harm box office takings in lucrative international markets. The delay was announced March 4, a week before the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. It will now open in the UK on Nov. 12 and the US on Nov. 25.

Original release date: April 2020

Godzilla vs Kong (Nov. 20)

Original release date: Unchanged

Raya and the Last Dragon (Nov. 25)

Original release date: Unchanged

Free Guy (Dec. 11)

Video game-themed action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds was slated for summer but will now open nearer the end of the year.

Original release date: July 3, 2020

West Side Story (Dec. 18)

Original release date: Unchanged

Coming 2 America (Dec. 18)

Original release date: Unchanged

Dune (Dec. 18)

Original release date: Unchanged

Top Gun: Maverick (Dec. 23)

In April, the high-flying Tom Cruise sequel was pushed from June to December. We’ve waited over 30 years for a sequel to the original 1986 Top Gun, so what’s a few more months?

Original release date: June 24, 2020


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Eternals (Feb. 12, 2021)

Marvel’s otherworldly ensemble was intended to open in November, but was bumped into the new year to make way for Black Widow.

Original release date: Nov 6, 2020 

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (March 5, 2021)

On March 31, Sony took the decision to shift its entire slate of theatrical releases. So Jason Reitman‘s small town-set Ghostbusters resurrection is pushed from July 2020 to March 5, 2021, taking Sony’s slot that was originally intended for video game adaptation Uncharted. 

Original release date: July 10, 2020

The Many Saints of Newark (March 12, 2021)

The Many Saints of Newark is a ’60s-set prequel to classic TV series The Sopranos, in which Michael Gandolfini takes on the role of Tony Soprano made famous by his father James Gandolfini.

Original release date: Sep. 25, 2020

Morbius (March 19, 2021)

As part of Sony’s big reshuffle, Jared Leto‘s Marvel vampire movie Morbius has been pushed from July to mid-March next year.

Original release date: July 31, 2020

F9 (April 2, 2021)

Starring Vin DieselJohn Cena and Charlize Theron, the ninth Fast and Furious film was due to open in May 2020. But it was one of the first to reshedule, taking the bold step of moving nearly a year to April 2021 — a date previously earmarked for the next film in the Fast Saga. There’s no word yet on when the 10th and final film will be released.

Original release date: May 2020

Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings (May 7, 2021)

Marvel’s martial arts action movie starring Simu Liu as mystical fighter Shang-Chi was also reshuffled by Disney.

Release date: February 2021

Jungle Cruise (July 30, 2021)

Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson take a cruise in the jungle, postponed by Disney a whole year.

Original release date: July, 2020

Uncharted (Oct. 8, 2021)

The coronavirus isn’t just affecting the films that are supposed to come out in these troubled times: It’s also disrupted the films that are in production. Uncharted, starring Tom Holland, was the first of next year’s blockbusters to be officially moved.

Original release date: March 5, 2021

The Batman (Oct. 1, 2021)

Robert Pattinson dons the batsuit for this delayed DC adventure.

Original release date: June 25, 2021

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Nov. 5, 2021)

Fans of Doctor Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, will have to wait before entering the Multiverse of Madness thanks to Marvel’s reshuffle.

Original release date: May 2021

Elvis Presley biopic (Nov. 5, 2021)

Baz Luhrmann‘s Elvis tribute became a high-profile casualty of the pandemic when Tom Hanks, who appears in the film as Colonel Tom Parker, contracted the coronavirus. He and his wife, Rita Wilson, have now recovered, and the film will be delayed only a month.

Original release date: Oct. 1, 2021


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Artemis Fowl (theatrical release canceled)

Disney’s youth-oriented fantasy adventure Artemis Fowl was supposed to come out in May 2020. But instead it will now skip theaters completely, to be released on streaming service Disney Plus at some unknown date in the future. Will other movies follow it straight to home release if they’re unable to find a slot in the box office calendar?

Original release date: May 29, 2020

Minions: The Rise of Gru (unspecified)

Animated sequel/spinoff Minions: The Rise of Gru is postponed indefinitely, so we don’t yet know when (or even if) it’ll hit theaters. It was set to be released in the US on July 3, so the postponement announced on March 19 was the first sign the pandemic would disrupt the summer season.

Original release date: July 3, 2020

A Quiet Place Part II (unspecified)

John Krasinski directs Emily Blunt and Cillian Murphy in A Quiet Place 2, a post-apocalyptic tale of a world in which noise equals death. The near-silent sequel was due to open on March 20, but with barely a week to go Paramount announced it was postponing the release to an unspecified date later in the year. Seeing the chilling first movie in a packed theater was an important part of the experience, partly because of the tension of trying to eat your snacks very, very quietly.

Original release date: March 2020

The New Mutants (unspecified)

Easily one of the most troubled movies ever to limp into production, X-Men spinoff The New Mutants was originally slated to be released in 2018, and had already been moved twice when Disney’s acquisition of Fox set it back yet again. It’s now postponed indefinitely, which makes the fourth postponement for the teen-centric comic book chiller starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Maisie Williams.

Original release date: April 2020

Spiral (unspecified)

Chris Rock re-invents the Saw franchise with horror movie Spiral.


Brooke Palmer/Lionsgate

A rebirth of the Saw franchise starring Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson, originally slated for May, has been indefinitely postponed by Lionsgate along with original thrillers Run and Antebellum, which stars Janelle Monae.

Original release date: May 15, 2020

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (unspecified)

David Attenborough’s latest nature documentary, made with the World Wide Fund for Nature, has been postponed to an as-yet-unspecified date. Interestingly, it’s not just the cinema release that’s been canceled: The film was due to stream on Netflix in April, but that was suspended too. “Our decision to postpone the film release [allows] viewers to enjoy the big screen experience,” said the WWF in an email to CNET, “as well as giving Sir David Attenborough’s message the incredible reach afforded by the Netflix platform.”

Original release date: April 16, 2020

Antlers (unspecified)

When Disney postponed Mulan and New Mutants, it also shelved horror film Antlers, produced by Guillermo del Toro. The US release of The Personal History of David Copperfield has also been pushed back indefinitely, as has thriller The Woman in the Window.

Original release date: April 17, 2020

Last Night in Soho (unspecified)

Edgar Wright‘s new film has been removed from the slate for now.

Original release date: Sep. 25, 2020

The Tomorrow War (unspecified)

Chris Pratt was scheduled to headline this original sci-fi film, but it’s now uncertain what day it’ll turn up.

Original release date: Dec. 25, 2020

Other movies

Many other movies have also been disrupted as theaters close. So far, these are just some of the smaller studio movies, kids’ films and indie flicks that have been affected, many of them indefinitely:

  • Antebellum
  • The Artist’s Wife
  • Blue Story
  • The Climb
  • Deerskin
  • First Cow
  • The French Dispatch
  • Greyhound
  • In the Heights
  • The Lovebirds
  • Les Misérables
  • Malignant
  • Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
  • The Personal History of David Copperfield
  • Praise This
  • Promising Young Woman
  • Rocks
  • Run Sweetheart Run
  • Scoob
  • The Secret Garden
  • The Truth
  • The Uncertain Kingdom
  • Vivarium (cinema release canceled; March 27 day-and-date online release continues as planned)
  • Wicked
  • The Woman in the Window

Film festivals

The legendary Cannes film festival was called off March 19. Originally scheduled to open May 12, the year’s most prestigious industry gathering was postponed as part of France’s measures to combat the virus.  

The SXSW conference was canceled earlier in the month, devastating filmmakers who hoped to reach press and distributors at the event in Austin, Texas. Films that were scheduled to premiere at the annual film, music and tech event included The 24th, a scathing historical drama from the Oscar-winning co-writer of BlacKkKlansman, Kevin Willmott.

New York’s Tribeca film festival is also canceled. As with all major events undone by coronavirus, cancelation will have a knock-on effect on local businesses and employees.

Upcoming movies

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are still unfolding across the globe. As Disneyland closes and major gatherings from the NBA to the Olympics are canceled, a question mark has been cast over the entire moviegoing calendar well into next year. Filming on assorted forthcoming productions has been interrupted: Mission: Impossible 7 was unable to shoot in virus-hit Venice, for example, while Baz Luhrmann‘s biopic of Elvis Presley was disrupted when Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson revealed they’d tested positive for COVID-19. Indiana Jones 5, Jurassic World 3, The Batman, The Matrix 4, Fantastic Beasts 3, Avatar 2 and many more have been disrupted.

Netflix, Apple, Disney and other streaming services have been forced to pause production on shows from Stranger Things and The Morning Show to Falcon and Winter Soldier.

Here’s a list of major events canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

CNET’s Abrar Al-Heeti contributed to this report.



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