COVID-19 has not spared the film mecca. Immersed in the midst of a disaster scenario, the major Hollywood studios had to postpone the release of many blockbusters and suspend filming. We now hope for a happy ending soon. Here is the latest news on the most anticipated projects on the big screen.
James Bond can (still) wait
Scheduled for April 2020, the release of the last “007” has been postponed to November 2020, then to April 2021. However, “Dying can wait” should finally be released in the fall of 2021. The studio of the MGM, which invested heavily in the film, even sought to sell the distribution rights to a streaming platform for US $ 600 million. For lack of having found a buyer, the studio should present the 25th installment of the “James Bond” franchise in theaters, even if it means making us wait a little longer before we can see Daniel Craig bid farewell to agent 007.
Denis Villeneuve regains hope
The decision taken by Warner to present “Dune” both in theaters and on the HBO Max platform has been strongly criticized by filmmaker Denis Villeneuve. The rant of the Quebecer could however bear fruit. According to the latest information, the first part of “Dune” could only be released in theaters in October 2021. Originally, the long-awaited adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic, with Timothée Chalamet and Jason Momoa, was to take the ‘poster at the end of 2020.
Delayed take-off for Vin Diesel
If COVID-19 had not made its own, we could already have seen the interpreter of Dominic Toretto fly to the stars. But the pandemic has delayed by a year the release of the ninth installment of “Fast and dangerous”, which will take place partly in space and which will be shown in May 2021. In the meantime, Vin Diesel is getting ready for the put into orbit, just like John Cena and Cardi B, who will make their debut in the saga.
Tom Cruise is patient on the tarmac
It was one of the most anticipated sequels of 2020. After seeing its flight postponed from June to December last year, Tom Cruise will finally have to wait until next summer to get back on his fighter plane. “Top Gun: Maverick”, which will also star Jon Hamm and Miles Teller, is expected to take off in July 2021, 35 years after the release of Tony Scott’s first film.
It’s not easy to shoot a blockbuster during a pandemic. Several shootings had to be stopped for long weeks. This is the case with the biographical film on the life of Elvis, directed by Baz Luhrmann, which was put on hiatus when Tom Hanks contracted the virus in Australia.
The production of the fourth part of “The Matrix”, with Keanu Reeves, also had to be interrupted at the start of the pandemic, when filming scenes in Berlin.
The shooting of the third part of “Fantastic Beasts” was suspended for six months; Johnny Depp only had time to work for a short day before being fired by Warner Bros.
But the prize for the most complicated shoot goes to “Mission: Impossible 7”. The team, which was in Italy when the pandemic broke out last spring, had to hastily cease operations and have Tom Cruise evacuated in disaster. Returning to Venice in the fall, production had to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak with 12 people infected on set, resulting in a further suspension of filming. It is easier to understand why Tom Cruise then went wild in England when he surprised two members of the team on the set who did not respect health measures.
With all of these forced stops, “Mission: Impossible 7” has fallen behind schedule. Christopher McQuarrie’s film, due for release this summer, is now due in theaters in November 2021.
Revenue in free fall
According to figures from Comscore, Hollywood saw a record 80% drop in revenue in North America in 2020. In fact, US $ 2.2 billion was collected at the box office, compared to 11.4 billion in 2019. This is the lowest amount recorded in almost 40 years.
In total, 274 films have seen their release postponed to 2021. And the rare blockbusters to have hit the bill in 2020 have not raised the bar, such as Christopher Nolan’s film, “Tenet”, which only amassed $ 58 million in the United States and Canada.
A new wave of postponements
Since most cinemas still haven’t reopened, the release schedule is set to be turned upside down. Announced in August 2020, then in March 2021, “Morbius”, the Marvel film with Jared Leto as a vampire, will not be released until October.
“A quiet corner: part 2”, which was due out in March 2020, then in April 2021, could still be delayed a few months. And to think that the film with Emily Blunt had a red carpet premiere in New York, just before the start of the crisis …
If sanitary conditions do not improve, other large productions could be postponed.
Oscars in Spring
Postponed two months due to the pandemic, the 93rd Academy Awards will be held on April 25 in Hollywood.
Another consequence of COVID-19: it is the streaming platforms that should stock up on statuettes, because several films could not be released in theaters.
Three feature films presented on Netflix are among the big favorites (“The Seven of Chicago”, by Aaron Sorkin, “Mank”, by David Fincher, and “The blues of Ma Rainey”, by George C. Wolfe), alongside of “Nomadland”, with Frances McDormand, who is still waiting to appear in the cinema.