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Coronavirus movie delays: 2020 and 2021 blockbusters postponed

Wonder Woman, James Bond and Black Widow get hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with 2021 films like Uncharted, The Batman and Matrix 4 disrupted.

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

James Bond (Daniel Craig) faces a new foe: coronavirus.

MGM/Universal Pictures

For many, it came as a shock to hear that the latest James Bond premiere was called off because of the coronavirus outbreak. But the Bond announcement was just the first in a cascade of movie blockbusters being canceled or postponed.

As gatherings of large groups of people are called off, movie theaters and film festivals are closing around the world. That's affected the planned release of new films from March 2020 and all the way into next year, including  Wonder Woman 1984, Marvel's Black Widow, James Bond thriller No Time to Die, Mulan, F9 and A Quiet Place Part 2.

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.

Here's a list of movies that have been delayed from their scheduled release dates due to the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19. We'll update the list as more delays are announced.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

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
New release date: March 5, 2021

Uncharted

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, is the first of next year's blockbusters to be officially moved.

Original release date: March 5, 2021
New release date: October 8, 2021

Wonder Woman 1984

Warner Bros held out until March 24 before announcing that the movie would be delayed, but with most other blockbusters postponed it was clear that the DC comics sequel would have to move from its planned June 5 release date. Where many big movies have postponed their opening indefinitely, Wonder Woman 1984 is committed to hitting theaters in August.   

Original release date: June 2020
New release date: Aug 14, 2020

Wonder Woman 1984 is moving from June to August.

Warner Bros

No Time to Die (James Bond)

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, and a week later, after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic, other blockbusters began to follow suit.

Original release date: April 2020
New release date: Nov. 12, 2020 (UK) / Nov. 25, 2020 (US)

Black Widow

Black Widow was due to be released in May.

Marvel

Originally scheduled for May 1, Marvel's Black Widow has been pushed back to an unspecified date. Disney made the announcement March 17.

Original release date: May 1, 2020
New release date: Unspecified

Minions: The Rise of Gru

On March 19, two weeks after the Bond announcement, animated sequel/spinoff Minions: The Rise of Gru was indefinitely postponed. It was set to be released in the US on July 3, which means the pandemic is disrupting schedules well into the summer season.

Original release date: July 3, 2020
New release date: Unspecified

A Quiet Place Part II

a-quiet-place-ii-trailer

Emily Blunt listens up in A Quiet Place 2, delayed by health concerns.

Paramount

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 just over a week to go Paramount announced that 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
New release date: Unspecified date in 2020

F9 (Fast and the Furious)

On the same day A Quiet Place 2 was postponed, producers of the ninth Fast and Furious movie did the same. Starring Vin DieselJohn Cena and Charlize Theron, F9 was due to open in May but has been pushed back nearly a year to April 2021 -- which had previously been 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
New release date: April 2, 2021

Mulan (and other Disney live-action films)

Mulan takes aim at a new release date.

Disney

Disney's live-action Mulan reboot was slated for March 27, but Disney pulled the film on March 12, just a few hours after similar announcements for A Quiet Place 2 and F9. The postponement came late enough that some had already seen the film at earlier preview screenings, calling the new Mulan "majestic" and "thrilling."

The next day, Walt Disney Studios said it was pausing production on other live-action films. The company didn't specify which movies were affected, but Variety reported they include The Last Duel, The Little Mermaid, Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, Home Alone, Nightmare Alley, Peter Pan & Wendy and Shrunk.

Original release date: March 2020
New release date: Unspecified

The New Mutants

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

Original release date: April 2020
New release date: Unspecified

Spiral

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
New release date: Unspecified

Morbius

As part of Sony's big reshuffle, Jared Leto Marvel vampire Morbius has been pushed from July to mid-March.

Original release date: July 31, 2020
New release date: March 19, 2021

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

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 premiere and cinema release events that've been canceled: The film was due to stream on Netflix, but that's not happening either. "Our decision to postpone the film release in its entirety [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
New release date: Unspecified

Disney/Fox

When Disney postponed Mulan and New Mutants, it also shelved horror film Antlers. Produced by Guillermo del Toro, the film was originally supposed to open April 17. The US release of The Personal History of David Copperfield has also been pushed back indefinitely, as has thriller The Woman in the Window.

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Other movies

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

  • The Artist's Wife
  • Blue Story
  • The Climb
  • Deerskin
  • First Cow
  • Greyhound
  • In the Heights
  • The Lovebirds
  • Les Misérables
  • Malignant
  • Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
  • Rocks
  • Run
  • Scoob
  • The Secret Garden
  • The Truth
  • The Uncertain Kingdom
  • Vivarium (cinema release canceled; March 27 day-and-date online release continues as planned)

Movie theaters

Regal Cinemas will close all theater locations starting March 17, until further notice. Meanwhile, AMC initially said it would limit the number of people in its theaters at one time to 50, before closing completely. In the UK, cinema chains Odeon, Vue and Cineworld have shut their doors indefinitely.

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.

Still to come

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are still unfolding across the globe. As Disneyland closes and more major gatherings are canceled, a question mark is cast even over giant events like this summer's Olympics. And more movies will no doubt be delayed.

As cancelations extend into the summer, the likes of Top Gun: Maverick and Christopher Nolan's Tenet could be in doubt.

The disruption may continue for some time as current filming is delayed. 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. Jurassic World 3, The Batman, The Matrix 4, Fantastic Beasts 3 and many more are also facing problems.

Netflix

Netflix has suspended all scripted TV and film production for two weeks in the US and Canada from March 16. That affects shows like Stranger Things, which was filming its fourth season. Productions filming in other locations are "being assessed on a case by case basis," according to Deadline

Apple originals

Apple has reportedly halted filming content for its Apple TV Plus service, which includes The Morning Show, Foundation, See and For All Mankind. 

The Matrix 4

Production on The Matrix 4, which began in February, has been halted, according to a Variety report. It's not clear when shooting will restart or if the film's 2021 release date will be affected.

Original release date: May 21, 2021
New release date: May not change

Avatar sequels

There are currently four Avatar sequels in the works, scheduled to be released every other Christmas from 2021 to 2027. But filming in New Zealand has been put on hold for the time being. 

Original release date: December 2021, 2023, 2025, 2027
New release date: May not change

Here's a list of major events that have been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

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