If you’ve experienced déjà vu in the last few days, you aren’t alone. Summer 2021 feels a little bit like spring 2020 when, with cases of covid-19 rising, one movie was delayed, then another, then another, then everything. This week saw the first official delay in response to the delta variant of covid-19 when the opening date of Venom: Let There Be Carnage was shifted three weeks. Optimisticaly, we hope that’s it. But after box office returns on Warner Bros. blockbuster The Suicide Squad failed to meet expectations, we’re starting to get worried that Venom was only the first domino.
So what you have here are 10 movies that are supposed to be released over the next five months—but hypothetically could be delayed again if theaters close or are forced to dial back capacity. Of note though: movies with viable streaming options (like Dune, Malignant, and The Matrix 4) or locked-in releases in the near future (like Candyman and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) were not counted. We’re pretty sure we’re going to see those. What follows are the ones that seem more flexible for various reasons.
The sequel to the 2018 reboot of Halloween was already delayed a year. Its producer, Jason Blum, has been quoted as saying this movie will be out no matter what. We believe him, especially since there’s another Halloween movie after this, and then Exorcist movies to make after that. It kind of has to come out. Current release date: October 15
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Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
We’ve already mentioned that Venom: Let There Be Carnage has moved once. Could it move again? Without a doubt. As far as we know, it’s not beholden to any other movies (such as Morbius or Spider-Man: No Way Home) and the first one was such a massive hit, you have to think Sony will be patient with this one. Current release date: October 15
Last Night in Soho
The new film from director Edgar Wright looks absolutely incredible. And after multiple delays over the past year, it’s fairly obvious its distributor is in no rush. Plus, it’s not a franchise film, so you’d imagine it could be released at any time. We want to see it ASAP, of course, but it’s just one of those films that has a lot more flexibility. Current release date: October 29
Marvel movies are extremely important to Disney for a number of reasons, and as of this week, Eternals is 100% coming to theaters. Do you need to see Eternals to understand all Marvel movies and shows coming out next year? We don’t know, but if not, it seems possible it could be delayed a few weeks or months without messing up the story. However, because of all those other Marvel properties on the schedule for next year, we have a feeling this is coming out no matter what. Current release date: November 5
The King’s Man
I’d venture to guess one of two of you reading this are thinking, “Wait, didn’t that movie come out already?” io9 was doing interviews for it way back in 2019 and it’s moved multiple times since then, not just due to covid-19. It feels like a movie that could absolutely move again, but also one that Disney absolutely wants (and probably has to) release in theaters. Current release date: December 22
It’s easy to get excited for anything director Guillermo del Toro does and his new film, Nightmare Alley, fits that bill. Though it’s likely a bit more grounded than most of his other films (it’s about grifters at a carnival), the cast alone (it stars Cate Blanchett, Bradley Cooper, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, and Willem Dafoe, to name a few) has us raring to go. The problem is, we have yet to see any official images, posters, trailers, anything—so it seems like it would be very easy to shift it around, though it does feel like Oscar bait, which might keep it on the schedule. Current release date: December 3
No Time To Die
Daniel Craig’s final James Bond film was supposed to be out last spring, and it was one of the first films to be delayed. Since then, it’s been pushed several more times and though rumors have run wild about a possible streaming debut, there’s simply too much riding on the film financially for that to seem likely. In fact, it’s more likely to be delayed again, at least in our mind. We just hope not because it looks incredible. Current release date: October 8
Call me optimistic. Call me stupid. Call it fate. But I just am really, really excited for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Yes, the trailers look very serious compared to the original films, but is director Jason Reitman really going to mess up a franchise that helped build his family legacy? (His dad, Ivan Reitman, directed the first two.) We don’t think so. However, Sony has again been very patient with the film; it’s already shifted Venom, and Ghostbusters would be the one to move after that. Current release date: November 11
The Matrix 4
Psych! I said this wasn’t going to be on the list, but that was a lie. So far, Warner Bros. has been very good about releasing all its big 2021 releases in theaters and HBO Max as planned. So it seems plausible the long-awaited new Matrix film will follow suit. And yet we haven’t seen anything from The Matrix 4. Not a poster. Not a trailer. Not an image. Heck, we don’t even officially know what the title is. Which is a long way of saying, we want to see the film very badly, but the lack of promotion could suggest a shift is coming. We hope not but, it’s possible. Current release date: December 22
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Yes, that’s an image of a toy. Because, officially, toys are the only thing we’ve seen from this highly anticipated third Tom Holland Spider-Man movie. This is a Sony release, not Disney, so we know already that the company is going to be careful with the film. But, because of its likely connection to next year’s Doctor Strange sequel, we imagine that this movie has to come out this year, otherwise all the other Marvel movies after it would be pushed back. So we think we’ll see this one, but it sure would suck if not. Current release date: December 17
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