Another slate of coronavirus-related delays has shifted Hollywood once more. This December was supposed to see the release of Steven Spielberg‘s West Side Story remake, but that is no longer the case. 20th Century Studios have now announced that the film has been delayed a full year, with a new release date of December 10, 2021.
The adaptation of the classic Broadway musical – a Romeo & Juliet-style tale of two warring gangs in New York City, the Sharks and the Jets – will star Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler, and was intriguing as an update that would remove the problematic moments from the original film (white actors in brownface, for example) and potentially deal with race in a more contemporary way.
That intrigue will now have to wait a year.
This move lines West Side Story up with its potential musical rival, Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s In The Heights, which was also delayed way back in April, being pushed to June 18, 2021. Now both musicals will arrive next year, and we’ll see which one fares better critically and commercially.
There are also big delays for other big Disney releases: the MCU films. Those wanting to see the true Endgame fallout will have to wait even longer.
Black Widow, the prequel focusing on Scarlett Johansson‘s Natasha Romanoff, was scheduled for a summer release, before being pushed to November, and has now been delayed until May 7, 2021.
That of course leads to a shuffling of the other MCU films. It seems bizarre to think that in a normal year, Black Widow would be old news at this point and we’d be preparing for Eternals, originally due in November. That ensemble superhero team up has now been pushed back an entire year, to November 5, 2021.
That means that Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, currently filming in Australia and having already had its release bumped from February 2021 to May 2021, will now arrive a little later, but now ahead of Eternals, on July 9, 2021.
That makes 2021 a super packed year for MCU films, as a Spider-Man movie is also scheduled for December 2021, taking the total to four.
This is obviously a necessary move, but it will be interesting to see whether this leads to some sort of Marvel burnout.
That’s something that happened with the Star Wars franchise back when Solo: A Star Wars Story was released just months after The Last Jedi, so it will be worth tracking. However, audiences might be so excited to get back to cinemas by that point, it might not matter.
This is all assuming we aren’t sitting here in six months with all of these movies having been delayed once again, of course. Fingers crossed that is not the case.