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Coronavirus shuts down big action films like The Batman and Marvel’s Shang-Chi

From the latest Bond movie to the seemingly cursed Mulan, here are the films that had release dates and production postponed by the coronavirus.


It’s not clear who hired Jordan Peele to write and direct this latest episode of Earth, but the dark and scary twists just keep coming. As coronavirus continues to roll out across the globe and impact everything in its path, 2020’s slate of big action movies becomes its latest casualty.

MGM and Universal appear to be the most optimistic, bumping back the latest Bond movie, No Time to Die, from April to November. It’s possible the relatively early release date was prompted by the similarly early decision to move the date. Announced March 4th, the studios at the time commented that the move to November was purely economical and had nothing to do with the pandemic, and should not be perceived as a commentary on the safety of theaters. March 4th, of course, was seven years ago in coronavirus time, and things have radically changed.

Only two days ago, Universal again moved one of their big tentpole pictures, Fast and Furious 9, from a May release to April 2, 2121. This time around, the statement had evolved. “While we know there is disappointment in having to wait a little while longer, this move is made with the safety of everyone as our foremost consideration,” star Vin Diesel said.

Universal Pictures Presents The Road To F9 Concert And Trailer Drop
Vin Diesel a publicity event promoting the release of the Fast and Furious 9 trailer. January 31, 2020
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Universal Pictures

Blue Story, the controversial UK gang film set for a March 20th US release, was not even given a new date. Distributor Paramount is apparently taking a wait-and-see approach, but did choose Feb. 12, 2021 for their film Monster Problems, which is “coming-of-age story about a young man living in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by monsters.”

Disney’s live action Mulan might be just as cursed as Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson. Delayed for more than a year prior to filming, the project wrapped back in November of 2018, and has been stuck in movie purgatory ever since.

Keeping Mulan company in limbo has been the New Mutants, which was originally produced by 20th Century Fox prior to its purchase by Disney. Disney’s foray into the X-Men universe, New Mutants was shot in 2017 and has had nothing but trouble since. Reshoots were determined to be impossible because the young cast had aged too much. Disney did not announce a new release date for either film.

In related news, production of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has been shut down, as director Destin Daniel Cretin may have contracted the coronavirus and is self-isolating. The movie stars Simu Liu as martial arts master Shang-Chi, and is poised to become the first major Hollywood superhero film starring an Asian actor.

Marvel Studios Hall H Panel
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Mission: Impossible 7 was one of the first major film to shut down production—the Tom Cruise action movie was shooting in Italy. The Batman, filming in the UK, announced March 14th they would suspend production for two weeks. Warner Bros. is also the studio behind Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley picture that was halted when star Tom Hanks learned he had contracted the coronavirus. With the shut down of The Batman, all major studio films are now on hiatus.

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