As coronavirus continues to have a massive effect around the world with countries under lockdown, these measures are beginning to have an impact on film studios with current productions as cameras stopped two weeks ago.
Variety is reporting this is causing major headaches at the top exec levels as the likes of The Batman, Matrix 4 and Red Notice have suspended shooting and are now likely to be pushed off their current release dates.
Matt Reeves’ Dark Knight was several weeks into filming about to leave London to go up north to Liverpool, Matrix 4 had just finished their San Fransisco production and were about to start up their Berlin production.
Meanwhile, the Netflix action blockbuster starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds had filmed for two months in Atlanta before shutting down. The only upside for the streaming service is that they’ll likely to return sooner than the projects above and won’t need a year-long marketing plan.
The downside is they’ll unlikely hit their end of the year release, which could be a blessing and have the Rawson Marshall Thurber’s big-budget actioner come out in a prime Summer/late Summer date.
As for The Batman, there’s only a slimmer chance to hitting their June 25, 2021. It’s still unknown, and that decision will come down what filmmaker Reeves wants as he and Warner Bros have worked this long, there’s no point rushing it.
I believe this could mean that The Batman has two options, take The Suicide Squad’s release date of August 6, or move further down the calendar to October and replacing their untitled Elvis film set to come out October 1.
Plus the marketing they could build around The Batman before Halloween, especially if the script has a Long Halloween vibe.
As for The Matrix 4, Lana Wachowski is in a tighter spot with a May 21, 2021 release and this included plenty of time to work on the heavy visual effects post-production.
Which is why I believe they’ll follow in Universal’s footsteps with Fast 9 and push it a whole year into 2022 with my best guess being April 15 or June 3.
Elsewhere, Paramount may have to push Mission Impossible 7 back from it’s original July 23, 2021 release. As Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie were about to film in Venice before the virus outbreak took a strong grip of the country.
If I were Paramount, I’d give McQuarrie the whole of 2021 to film, reshoot and edit both MI7 and MI8 for a huge back-to-back 2022 release. With MI7 coming out around March and keep MI8 in its original release date of August 5, 2022.
It’s a ballsy move by Paramount but could make the studio a load of money, especially if fans know we only have to wait five months to see the possibly final chapter of Ethan Hunt’s story.