And history has repeated itself. Back in March last year, MGM’s No Time to Die became the first film to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which prompted all the other major Hollywood studios to follow suit with their releases. Now, just days after No Time to Die got delayed again to November 2021, we’ve seen a slew of release date changes from the other studios in response again.
Sony had the biggest shake-up as it pushed back five titles, and leading the way (at least in chronological order) for the studio is the Kay Cannon-directed live-action adaptation of Cinderella. It was supposed to release in just two weeks on 5 February, but will now hit cinema screens on 16 July. That was actually the original spot of the long-anticipated video game adaptation Uncharted, with the Tom Holland-led action-adventure now being bumped to 11 February 2022. We’ve been waiting over a decade for this movie, so I guess another six months won’t be the end of the world.
Next up, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, the sequel to the 2018 live-action/CG hybrid adaptation of the classic Beatrix Potter children books, has hopped out of its 2 April slot. It only gets a two-month delay though as it lands on 11 July. That spot had been occupied by Ghostbusters: Afterlife, but director Jason Reitman’s upcoming direct-sequel to the classic two Ghostbusters films (which were helmed by his dad, Ivan Reitman) has been pushed back five months to 11 November. As a bit of a consolation prize to fans, Sony has already revealed a new pic from the film last week (via Empire), featuring young actors Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, and Logan Kim.
Sony’s final change was to the Marvel Comics adaptation of Morbius, and it was actually a direct response to the No Time to Delay delay. The Jared Leto-led film (which appears to now be taking place in the corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe) was actually just delayed two weeks ago from March to 8 October, but that is No Time to Die’s new date. Because of that, Sony is now pushing Morbius back again to 21 January 2022.
Disney – which, contrary to popular belief, is more than just Marvel and Pixar – posted new dates for seven films under its 20th Century Studios and Searchlight labels (both part of the Fox merger). Technically, Disney actually updated more titles than Sony, but four were previously undated and only three of them are delays. Probably the most high-profile change is The King’s Man, the Ralph Fiennes-led prequel to the two Kingsman films. Director Matthew Vaughn’s spy-adventure blockbuster was supposed to hit cinemas on 12 March but it’s now only released on 20 August.
Next is Bob’s Burgers: The Movie, the feature film follow-up to the Fox animated series, which was scheduled for 9 April but now doesn’t have a release date at all. Staying with animated fare we have Ron’s Gone Wrong, which moves from 23 April to 22 October. The film is the first effort from new studio Locksmith Animation which being released via 20th Century Studios (the only film from the studio with this release strategy as Locksmith signed a deal with Warner Bros. after Disney’s Fox acquisition).
As for the quartet of previously undated films, three of them fall under the Searchlight banner. The first is the Rebecca Hall-led horror The Night House which has now been set for 16 July. It’s followed by The Eyes of Tammy Faye, a biopic starring Jessica Chastain as televangelist Tammy Faye Baker, which has now been pegged for 24 September. Director Scott Cooper’s next film, the Keri Russel-led horror film Antlers, is up next with a newly announced release date of 29 October. Antlers is produced by horror maestro Guillermo Del Toro, but he actually has his own feature film on the list in 20th Century Studios’ star-studded Nightmare Alley. Boasting a cast that includes Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Bradley Cooper, Willem Dafoe, and more, Nightmare Alley takes up the slot previously occupied by “Untitled 20th Century Film” on 3 December 2021.
Universal Pictures didn’t have as many changes, making just three edits to its film slate. First up is Nobody, the Bob Odenkirk-led action thriller that was supposed to release in literally a month from today. However, it’s been pushed back two months to 2 April. Another February release was supposed to be Michael Bay’s next effort, the thriller Ambulance starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Eiza Gonzalez. However, it’s been delayed a full year to 18 February 2022. Finally, Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho is leaving its 23 April slot for a new 22 October release. Led by The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy, this will be Wright’s first dabbling in the psychological thriller genre.
There’s one other major Hollywood studio not included in these updates and that’s Paramount. There hasn’t been much in the way of delays for the Tinsel Town icon as the studio spent most of 2020 instead selling its titles off to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to very profitable effect. Paramount still have a few big titles in its theatrical release schedule though and none is bigger than Top Gun: Maverick. The long-awaited sequel to Tom Cruise’s 1980s classic, the film has already been delayed twice, but surprisingly there’s no delay this time around. Instead, Paramount is bucking the trend of the last week and keeping Maverick in its 2 July slot. What has emerged though (via the Wall Street Journal) is that both Netflix and Apple TV+ have approached Paramount to purchase the film, but the studio isn’t budging and is looking to make Maverick its big summer blockbuster season highlight.
That is if there even is a summer blockbuster season. While COVID-19 vaccines are currently in the early stages of rolling out, it’s still a long way before it has reached sufficient numbers for life to return to normal worldwide. And that means the majority of cinemas will stay closed for quite some time yet. In other words, don’t be surprised if Top Gun: Maverick follows its peers and flies to a new release date after all.
Last Updated: January 25, 2021