Coronavirus movie delays: The blockbusters postponed by health fears

Coronavirus movie delays: The blockbusters postponed by health fears

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James Bond (Daniel Craig) faces a new foe: coronavirus.

MGM/Universal Pictures

For many, it came as a shock to hear that the latest James Bond premiere was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. But the Bond announcement was just the first in a cascade of movie blockbusters being canceled or postponed.

As gatherings of large groups of people are called off, movie theaters are closed around the world. That’s affected the planned release of new films throughout March and April, including Marvel’s Black WidowNo Time to Die, Mulan, F9 and A Quiet Place Part 2.

The health and well-being of people and families around the world remains the most important thing, but these movie cancellations affect more than just the balance sheets of major studios. Movie theater closures are just one sign of the disruption the coronavirus is wreaking upon people and businesses around the world.

Here’s a list of movies that have been delayed from their scheduled release dates due to the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19. We’ll update it as more delays are announced.

No Time to Die (James Bond)

Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007, directed by Cary Fukunaga and co-written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, was the first major movie to delay release. No Time to Die had already lost its original director and changed its release date twice, but producers feared the closure of many theaters around the globe due to coronavirus would harm box office takings in lucrative international markets. The delay was announced March 4, and a week later, after the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic, other blockbusters began to follow suit.

Original release date: April 2020
New release date: Nov. 12, 2020 (UK) / Nov. 25, 2020 (US)

Black Widow

Originally scheduled for May 1, Black Widow been pushed back to an unspecified date. Disney made the announcement on March 17.

Original release date: May 1, 2020
New release date: Unspecified

The Matrix 4

Production on The Matrix 4, which began in February, has been halted, according to a Variety report. It’s not clear when shooting will restart or if the film’s 2021 release date will be impacted.

Original release date: May 21, 2021
New release date: May not change

A Quiet Place Part II


Emily Blunt listens up in A Quiet Place 2, delayed by health concerns.


John Krasinski directs Emily Blunt and Cillian Murphy in A Quiet Place 2, a post-apocalyptic tale of a world in which noise equals death. The near-silent sequel was due to open on March 20, but with just over a week to go Paramount announced that it’s postponing the release to an unspecified date later in the year. Seeing the chilling first movie in a packed theater was an important part of the experience, partly because of the tension of trying to eat your snacks very, very quietly.

Original release date: March 2020
New release date: Unspecified date in 2020

F9 (Fast and the Furious)

On the same day A Quiet Place 2 was postponed, producers of the ninth Fast and Furious movie did the same. Starring Vin DieselJohn Cena and Charlize Theron, F9 was due to open in May but has been pushed back an entire year to April 2021 — which had previously been earmarked for the next film in the Fast Saga. There’s no word yet on when the 10th and final film will be released.

Original release date: May 2020
New release date: April 2, 2021

Mulan (and other Disney live-action films)

Mulan takes aim at a new release date.


Disney’s live-action Mulan reboot was slated for March 27, but Disney pulled the film on March 12, just a few hours after similar announcements for A Quiet Place 2 and F9. The postponement came late enough that some had already seen the film at earlier preview screenings, calling the new Mulan “majestic” and “thrilling.”

The next day, Walt Disney Studios said it was pausing production on other live-action films. The company didn’t specify which movies were impacted, but Variety reported they include The Last Duel, The Little Mermaid, Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, Home Alone, Nightmare Alley, Peter Pan & Wendy and Shrunk.

Original release date: March 2020
New release date: Unspecified

Avatar sequels

There are currently four Avatar sequels in the works, scheduled to be released every other Christmas from 2021 to 2027. But filming in New Zealand has been put on hold for the time being. 

Original release date: December 2021, 2023, 2025, 2027
New release date: May not change

The New Mutants

Easily one of the most troubled movies ever to limp into production, X-Men spin-off The New Mutants has now been postponed indefinitely. It was originally slated to be released in 2018 and had already been moved twice when Disney’s acquisition of Fox led to a third postponement. That makes this the fourth postponement for the teen-centric comic book chiller starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Maisie Williams.

Original release date: April 2020
New release date: Unspecified

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

David Attenborough’s latest nature documentary, made with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), has been postponed to an as-yet-unspecified date. Interestingly, it’s not just the premiere and cinema release events that’ve been canceled: The film was due to stream on Netflix, but that’s not happening either.

Original release date: April 16, 2020
New release date: Unspecified

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

Kid-friendly sequel Peter Rabbit 2 will now hop into theaters in August.

Original release date: March 2020
New release date: Aug. 7, 2020

Disney / Fox

When Disney postponed Mulan and New Mutants, it also shelved horror film Antlers. Produced by Guillermo del Toro, the film was originally supposed to open April 17. The US release of The Personal History of David Copperfield has also been pushed back indefinitely, as has thriller The Woman in the Window.

Indie movies

Many smaller movies have also been affected. So far, these are just some of the indie and smaller movies that have been postponed:

  • The Artist’s Wife
  • Blue Story
  • The Climb
  • Deerskin
  • First Cow
  • The Lovebirds
  • Les Misérables
  • Rocks
  • The Secret Garden
  • The Truth

Movie theaters

Regal Cinemas will close all theater locations starting March 17, until further notice. Meanwhile, AMC said it would limit the number of people in its theaters at one time to 50, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the UK, cinema chains Odeon, Vue and Cineworld have shut their doors indefinitely.

Film festivals

The SXSW conference won’t take place in March, devastating filmmakers who hoped to reach press and distributors there. Films that were scheduled to premiere at the annual film, music and tech event included The 24th, a scathing historical drama from the Oscar-winning co-writer of BlacKkKlansman, Kevin Willmott.

With New York’s Tribeca festival also canceled, other film festivals such as Cannes may be in doubt. As with all major events undone by coronavirus, cancellation will hit local businesses and employees.

Still to come

Black Widow will no longer open May 1. 


The coronavirus situation is still unfolding across the globe. As Disneyland closes and more major gatherings are canceled, a question mark is cast even over giant events like this summer’s Olympics. And more movies will no doubt be delayed.

It remains to be seen if the cancellations will extend into the summer, potentially impacting the likes of Wonder Woman 1984, Top Gun: Maverick and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.

The disruption may continue for some time as current filming is delayed. Mission: Impossible 7 was unable to shoot in virus-hit Venice, for example, while Baz Luhrmann‘s biopic of Elvis Presley was disrupted when Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson revealed they’d tested positive for COVID-19. Jurassic World 3, The Batman, The Matrix 4, Uncharted, Fantastic Beasts 3 and many more are also facing problems.


Netflix has suspended all scripted TV and film production for two weeks in the US and Canada from March 16. That affects shows like Stranger Things, which was filming its fourth season. Productions filming in other locations are “being assessed on a case by case basis,” according to Deadline

Apple originals

Apple has reportedly halted filming content for its Apple TV Plus service, which includes The Morning Show, Foundation, See and For All Mankind. 

Here’s a list of major events that have been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

CNET’s Abrar Al-Heeti contributed to this report.

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