Fans will have to wait longer... much longer... to see Robert Pattinson don his cowl. The caped crusader became the latest COVID-19 victim after it was announced Tuesday the highly anticipated reboot "The Batman" was being pushed to 2022.
It's just the latest shakeup in Hollywood as Warner Bros. said late Monday its sci-fi pic “Dune” will now open in October 2021, instead of this December. That follows on the heels of another big film in the James Bond franchise, “No Time to Die,” being pushed from the release calendar to April 2.
Bond star Daniel Craig joined Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show" Monday evening to discuss the delay. "This thing is just bigger than all of us," Craig told Fallon. "We want to release the movie at the same time all around the world and this isn't the right time. So fingers crossed April 2 is going to be our date."
But for those looking for the smallest glimmer of good news, take heart. The yet untitled "Matrix" sequel is actually is being bumped up from April 1, 2022, to December 22, 2021.
But that leaves just a handful of big films still slated for 2020. Some merely moved back 2020 openings as late as possible, like “Death on the Nile" (Dec. 18) and “Wonder Woman 1984,” which is now set for Christmas.
Others abandoned the year completely, including Marvel’s “Black Widow," Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story" and Universal’s “Candyman,” all of which were pushed to 2021 in recent weeks.
Here are a few other movie dates to keep your eye on. Warner Bros. recently confirmed to CNN that "The Flash" will hit theaters on November 4, 2022, instead of June 3, 2022. "Black Adam," which was due out on December 22, 2021, and "Minecraft," which was scheduled to be released on March 4, 2022, have both been postponed with no new dates announced.
The massive movie shuffle is due partly to the fact that one of the country's biggest markets, New York, has not yet committed to a plan or a date for reopening theaters in the state.
Last week, groups representing theater owners, movie studios and directors issued a plea to U.S. lawmakers to provide relief to ailing movie theaters. The letter, signed by the likes of Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Patty Jenkins, Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese, said that if the status quo continues, nearly 70% of small to mid-size movie theaters could be forced to close permanently.
Efforts to slow the spread of the virus resulted in closure of most cinemas for nearly six months. Exhibitors have poured resources into enhanced safety and sanitization protocols, including limited capacity theaters, social distanced seating, cashless transactions and staggered showtimes.
John Fithian, president and CEO of the National Association of Theater Owners, a non-profit that advocates for the rights of thousands of theaters owners across the country, says cinemas have been working tirelessly to prepare for the return of customers as pandemic restrictions slowly lift across the nation.
"We know movie-goers will come back to the theaters if we have two things: If we have new movies for them... but also if we have a safe environment. They have to have both," he says. Fithian says industry experts have sat down with leading epidemiologists over the last several months to design comprehensive safety protocols in the cinemas that are now implemented in the 45 states where theaters have reopened.