From “Black Widow” and “The Eternals” to “Indiana Jones 5,” Disney has overhauled the release calendar for most of its upcoming films as movie theaters remain closed for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Black Widow” — which was delayed last month — will now open on Nov. 6, 2020, taking the place of fellow Marvel adventure “The Eternals.” That shift pushed back most impending installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which will now launch as follows: “The Eternals” on Feb. 12, 2021, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” on May 7, 2021, “Doctor Strange 2” on Nov. 5, 2021 and “Thor: Love and Thunder” on Feb. 18, 2022. “Black Panther 2” will still debut on May 6, 2022, while “Captain Marvel 2” has been set for July 8, 2022.
“Soul,” an existential animated film from Pixar, has not wavered from its opening weekend on June 19. The studio’s live-action remake of “Mulan” has been pushed to July 24, 2020, debuting on the date previously occupied by “Jungle Cruise.” However, there is no guarantee that theaters will even be reopened by then. Sources at Disney note that release dates for all films could continue to move given the uncertainty over the global health crisis.
“Jungle Cruise,” a family film starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, will bow on July 20, 2021, roughly a year later than expected. Down the road, Harrison Ford’s “Indiana Jones 5,” initially set for the summer of 2021, launches on July 29, 2022.
Sci-fi fantasy film “Artemis Fowl,” which was supposed to open on May 29, will instead debut on Disney Plus, making it the studio’s first film to entirely skip its theatrical release.
For now, Disney is keeping dates for holiday offerings “West Side Story” (Dec. 18) and “The Last Duel” (Dec. 25).
Other shake-ups to Disney’s release calendar include Ryan Reynolds’ “Free Guy,” an action-comedy from its 20th Century banner, which has moved from July 3, 2020 to Dec. 11, 2020. Elsewhere, Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” from Searchlight, shifted from July 24, 2020 to Oct. 16, 2020.
As previously announced, “The New Mutants,” “Woman in the Window,” “Antlers” and “The Personal History of David Copperfield” remain without release dates.
By now, every studio has postponed at least part of its summer movie slate — a mounting list that includes Sony’s “Morbius” and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman 1984” and “In the Heights,” Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” and Universal’s “F9.”
The latest scheduling shift from Disney is yet another sign that the earliest movie theaters might reopen would be late into summer. When cinemas are able to resume business as usual, there’s no telling how eager audiences will be to return.
It’s not just the closure of multiplexes that is impacting Hollywood studios. The coronavirus pandemic has shut down production on numerous films, including “The Batman,” “Doctor Strange” and “Shang-Chi,” leaving companies uncertain when cameras will be able to roll again.
Post-production has also been affected since employees have been forced to work remotely in order to social distance. Consequentially, those films might not have been completed in time to make their previously scheduled release dates.