It’s a bit hard to keep track of all the delays and postponements to films and series that have happened over the last couple of months because of the coronavirus pandemic. While in the beginning, it was better to announce the delays as ‘ indefinite’, in order to avoid empty promises, we got to the stage where there is an increasing sense of clarity with regard to many things. This includes the way cinemas can operate throughout this period, as well as how projects can be wrapped up and released. So, we are starting to see more definite release dates for most of the films that should have been released by now, or were going to release soon. Here are just a few of them:
1. A Quiet Place Part II
A Quiet Place Part II is the second part of the original film released back in 2018, and I am sure you would have never guessed that, had you not read it here. The film was supposed to come out in March, and was finished at that point, however with cinema closures, very few people would have been able to watch it. It was initially delayed for September 2020, but that proved out to be too ambitious, and now it has been further delayed until April 2021.
2. The Personal History of David Copperfield
This modern re-imagining of the classic Dickens tale is among the few projects that were not too deeply affected by the corona crisis. Initially scheduled to release back in May, it was pushed to August and September dates for most of Europe. Directed by Armando Iannucci (In the Loop, The Death of Stalin), and starring Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, Dev Patel and Peter Capaldi, among others, it will hopefully be quite the summer treat!
3. Spiral: From the Book of Saw
I honestly never expected another Saw project, after the pretty mediocre Jigsaw, both as a movie as well as a box office project. However, it must have made some money, because a sort of spin-off is in the works. Two characteristics really stand out: the fact that Darren Lynn Bousman (director of Saw II, III and IV) will lead the project, and the presence of two huge names I never thought to see associated with a Saw project: Samuel L Jackson and Chris Rock. Delayed from May 2020 until May 2021.
This is one of the few original-sounding animations of the year, and I was quite excited to watch it. Thankfully, the release has not been postponed by too long: initially scheduled to release in June 2020, it was pushed until November. It tells the story of a passionate musician (voiced by Jamie Foxx), who is accidentally transported out of his body and has to find his way back.
5. Top Gun: Maverick
The original Top Gun was released in 1986, and its sequel will return after a 35 year break (instead of a 34 year break, as originally planned). Scheduled to be released in June 2020, it will instead become watchable in July 2021. A lot might have changed in aviation within the last 35 years, Tom Cruise might have aged just a little bit, but if the wait was more than three decades long, I doubt that one extra year will make much of a difference.
6. Ghostbusters: Afterlife
After the horrendous embarrasment that the 2016 ‘ reboot’ of Ghostbusters was, the franchise finally seems to take a direction closer to its roots. The film seems to strike a good balance between the classic elements, and a fresh take: it includes both familiar faces (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson), as well as new characters (Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard). Hopefully the plot will be well written, in a way that makes takes advantage of the things which made the classic films great. Delayed from July 2020 until March 2021.
7. The French Dispatch
Finally, the one I was most looking forward to: Wes Anderson’s new project, with probably the greatest cast ever assembled for a film. I have talked about it in a previous post, so I will not go into detail again, but it was supposed to be released back in July 2020, and the new release date has, unfortunately, not been announced yet. It’s probably a difficult decision to take: either wait for a rosier box office situation, or release it in time to have it eligible for the major awards of next year.