Hollywood continues to feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, with this past weekend seeing a whole host of further delays to highly anticipated films.
First, Disney has delayed the Dwayne Johnson/Emily Blunt action film Jungle Cruise and the Ryan Reynolds comedy Free Guy. The former has been delayed a full year to July 2021, while the latter has been pushed from July 3 to Friday, December 11.
Both are blows for movies that had already begun their marketing campaigns, but in the grand scheme of things, delaying some films for a while isn’t too big of a deal. Jungle Cruise doesn’t currently have any competition opening alongside it at its new July 2021 date, while Free Guy will open alongside Sylvester Stallone‘s Samaritan in an increasingly busy looking December.
Elsewhere, Wes Anderson‘s The French Dispatch has been delayed from July 24 to Friday, October 16, and will now open against Universal’s horror sequel Halloween Kills.
Indiana Jones 5 – not directed by Steven Spielberg, but James Mangold – has also been delayed, but not for the first time. The film was previously set to open on July 9, 2021, but has now been pushed all the way to July 29, 2022.
On the MCU front, Disney have unveiled the new release calendar for their upcoming Marvel movies. Black Widow will now be released Friday, November 6, taking over the spot The Eternals initially occupied. That film now lands in February 2021, originally held by Shang Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings.
All these shifts have led to further ones down the line. Shang Chi has moved into Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness‘ May 7, 2021 spot, with that film moving to November 5, 2021, previously held by Thor: Love And Thunder. Taika Waititi‘s film now moves to February 18, 2022, which was previously reserved for an untitled Marvel project.
On top of all that, Disney revealed that the untitled MCU movie originally scheduled for July 29, 2022 is Captain Marvel 2, and that will now be pushed up slightly to July 8 of that same year instead.
With a lot of intricate plans progressing over multiple films, the MCU was in danger of having these delays hit harder than other films, but they’ll hope that shifting their movies by a slot doesn’t upset the apple cart too much, although it will be interesting to see how the upcoming Disney+ MCU shows – designed to augment the MCU further – will fit into this new schedule.
And in further Disney news, the studio has set a new date for the live-action version of Mulan, but it’s not as far in the future as you might think. Mulan‘s new date is July 24, 2020, which puts its release still up in the air. There’s no guarantee cinemas around the world are back to operating close to normal by then, and even if there’s an all-clear health-wise, not all cinemas will be able to afford to open.
Obviously it would be great if Mulan can open in late July, as it would be a sign that things around the world are improving. We’ll have to wait and see if that is indeed the case.