The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the delay of many of 2020’s hottest summer blockbusters. Films such as “Mulan,” “A Quiet Place Part II,” “Black Widow,” “Scoob,” “Morbius” and many others were pulled from the summer release schedule leaving a vacant theatrical window until July. Given the current state of the world, the remainder of the 2020 release schedule remains in a state of flux. However, studios are proactively seeking late 2020 and 2021 release dates for these delayed titles. Earlier this week, Sony announced the postponement of most of its 2020 blockbusters until 2021. Shortly after, Universal announced the delay of “Minions 2,” “Sing 2,” and “Wicked.” Just yesterday, Paramount finally moved “Top Gun: Maverick“ from its June 26 release date to Dec. 23 and slotted “A Quiet Place Part II” in early Sept. Now, Disney becomes the latest studio to reshuffle their release schedule.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney announced new release dates for “Mulan” and “Black Widow” along with the decision to drop “Artemis Fowl” on Disney+ (premiere date yet to be determined). “Mulan” was initially scheduled for a March 27 release before being removed from the calendar indefinitely. Now, the $200 million Disney live-action remake will find itself opening on July 24, 2020; a date was previously held by “Jungle Cruise.” It’s an optimistic move given the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic but is in line with the industry’s hope that the theatrical marketplace will reopen by mid-summer. The Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt adventure film are now pushed back a whole year for a July 30, 2021 release.
Fans hoping to see Scarlett Johansson‘s Avenger back in action this summer are going to have to wait a little longer. “Black Widow” was scheduled to kick off the summer movie season on May 1 but is now shifting to a Nov. 6, 2020, release date. Marvel‘s “The Eternals” previously held this slot but is now inhabiting “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Rings‘s” Feb. 12, 2021 date. The chain reaction continues as “Shang-Chi” will move into “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘s” date of May 7, 2020; “Doctor Strange 2” will take over “Thor: Love and Thunder‘s” release date of Nov. 5, 2021; “Thor 4” will move to Feb. 18, 2022, while “Black Panther 2” remains on track for a May 6, 2022 release. “Captain Marvel 2” will release July 8, 2022. However, the massive overhaul does not stop there.
The report also indicates that 20th Century‘s “Free Guy,” starring Ryan Reynolds, is moving from July 3, 2020, to Dec. 11, 2020. November and December are quickly becoming overcrowded; however, the studio has no plans as of yet to shift the release dates for Steven Spielberg‘s “West Side Story” or Ridley Scott‘s “The Last Duel.” Given Spielberg and Scott’s ability to perform cinematic miracles under a time crunch, the two auteurs shouldn’t struggle to hit their Dec. 18 and Dec. 25 release dates, respectively.
As for Searchlight, the report confirms that the studio will move Wes Anderson‘s sure to be an awards contender, “The French Dispatch,” from July 14 to a comfortable Oct. 16 release date. The move, while necessary, is also a strategic one as it positions the film perfectly at the start of awards season.
Notably missing from the report was “Antlers,” “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” “Woman in the Window,” and the forever doomed “The New Mutants.” While these titles were not mentioned, it’s suggested that Disney will reveal new dates soon.