As the question of how long the coronavirus pandemic will affect the entertainment industry remains unanswered, Sony Pictures is not taking any chances. Sony pushed back its major tentpole movies —including Morbius, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the ever-cursed Uncharted, and the already-delayed Peter Rabbit 2 — to next year.
Variety reports that Sony has drastically pushed back its entire 2020 and 2021 slate amid concerns that the coronavirus pandemic won’t ease up by the time the summer movie season starts this year.
Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters sequel, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, has moved moved from July 10, 2020, to March 5, 2021, while Jared Let’s Spider-Man-adjacent comic book movie Morbius has been delayed from July 31, 2020 to March 19, 2021. The Tom Holland-led Uncharted is no stranger to delays, and this is just the latest pushback that suggests we’ll never see the video game adaptation, as the film goes from its March 5, 2021 slot to October 8, 2021. Meanwhile, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, which was one of the first films to be delayed in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, has now been pushed back from August 7 to January 15, 2021. An untitled Sony/Marvel movie has also been delayed indefinitely from its original October 8, 2021 date.
Sony has moved virtually every one of its major titles out of 2020, with the exception of the Kevin Hart drama Fatherhood, which was actually pushed up to October 23, 2020. The Tom Hanks World War II drama Greyhound, which was set to open this June, has been delayed indefinitely.
This schedule reshuffling marks the biggest changes by a major studio since the coronavirus pandemic reached U.S. shores, shutting down businesses and shuttering movie theaters across the country. When lockdowns commenced, many in the entertainment industry hoped that the coronavirus pandemic could be curbed by the time the summer movie season commenced, but Sony’s release date delays suggests studios are starting to think otherwise. It’s only a matter of time before other studios follow suit and delay their major tentpole releases set for the summer, like Wonder Woman 1984 — which has already been postponed to August from its original June date — for 2021 releases.
Our holiday blockbuster season could look entirely different as well, with major films like Warner Bros.’ Dune possibly getting pushed to next year while the studio likely gives Christopher Nolan’s Tenet a November release. It’s all uncertain what the summer movie season will look like — if there even is a summer movie season — as the coronavirus crisis wears on.
Here is the full schedule of Sony’s release date changes:
Greyhound – TBD from 6/12/2020 Fatherhood – 10/23/2020 from 1/15/2021 Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway – 1/15/2021 from 08/07/2020 Ghostbusters: Afterlife – 03/05/2021 from 07/10/2020 Sony/Marvel Morbius – 03/19/2021 from 07/31/2020 Uncharted – 10/8/2021 from 03/05/2021 Untitled Sony Marvel – TBD from 10/08/2021
Police in Crowley, Louisiana have issued an apology for using the siren heard in “The Purge” to signal the 9pm local time curfew that has been put into effect in the city because of the coronavirus outbreak via NME. The curfew prohibits citizens from leaving their homes between the local hours of 9pm and 6am. The police department said the curfew went into place because the city is located in the state’s Acadia Parish, which has “received the worst rating for the rapid spread of the virus. It has been put into place in order to try and slow the spread.” Police are giving citations to people who violate the curfew. People traveling to or from work must have documentation from their employer.
An alarm used by police at the beginning of the month was the same alarm heard in “The Purge,” James DeMonaco’s 2013 horror thriller about a fictional America where for one night it becomes legal to commit any crimes, including murder, for a 12-hour period. The alarm in “The Purge” is heard to signal that the killing and crime sprees can begin. The first “Purge” film starred Ethan Hawke and launched a franchise that includes three follow-up movies and a series on USA Network.
Crowley Police chief Jimmy Broussard said in a statement to the local ABC news affiliate KATC that he was unaware the signal being used for the coronavirus curfew was the same signal heard in “The Purge.” The chief assured citizens that the “Purge” siren would not be used again. The siren caused enough of a stir that an additional statement was released by Acadia Parish sheriff K.P. Gibson.
“Last night a ‘Purge Siren’ was utilized by the Crowley Police Department as part of their starting curfew,” the statement said. “We have received numerous complaints with the belief that our agency was involved in this process. We were not involved in the use of the ‘Purge Siren’ and will not utilize any type of siren for this purpose. Calls regarding this matter should be directed to the Crowley Police and Chief Broussard and not the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office.”
Universal Pictures is scheduled to release the next “Purge” movie in theaters this summer, but the film is likely to be delayed because of the coronavirus. The studio was not involved in the Crowley police department’s use of “The Purge” siren.
Earlier this week it was revealed that Sony's long-gestating Uncharted movie was delayed yet again. The adaptation of the popular video game franchise seems to be cursed at this point. Though this particular project is far from the only one being affected by the situation at hand in Hollywood currently. Now, star Tom Holland has revealed that they were literally on set for the first day of shooting when the plug was pulled.
Tom Holland, known best for his role as Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, recently did an Instagram live chat with Justin Bieber. During the conversation, Bieber asked Holland if any of his projects were affected by the shutdown. At that point, Holland revealed just how close Uncharted was to finally becoming a reality. Here's what he had to say about it.
'Yeah, we went to work day one. I'm doing this movie called Uncharted, which is based on a video game. And we showed up for our first day of shooting and then they shut us down. I was in Berlin, so I had to come home and now I'm back in London.'
This is a heartbreaking thing to hear. Uncharted has been in the works for years and has been met with one roadblock after another. A revolving door of stars and filmmakers have been attached at various points to bring the adventures of Nathan Drake to life on the big screen. Tom Holland has been attached to the lead role for several years, with Mark Wahlberg on board to play his trusty partner Sully. At one point, Wahlberg was attached to play Nathan Drake himself before Sony shifted gears. Antonio Banderas is also set to star.
Recently, directors such as Dan Trachtenberg 10 Cloverfield Lane and Travis Knight Bumblebee spent time developing the project. Ruben Fleischer Venom was the filmmaker who was finally going to make it happen when the shutdown happened. Art Marcum and Matt Holloway Iron Man, Transformers: The Last Knight wrote the most recent draft of the script. Speaking further, Tom Holland explained that his preparation wasn't overly intense, so it wasn't quite as soul-crushing in that respect.
'I played the video games and I got into shape, but that's about it. It wasn't heart and soul on the line for it.'
The Uncharted series debuted in 2007 for the PlayStation 3 with Drake's Fortune. To date, the games have sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, making it one of the most successful video game series of the modern era. The movie had been set for a March 5, 2021, release. However, Sony moved Ghostbusters: After life to that date. Uncharted is now set to arrive in theaters on October 8, 2021. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. Feel free to check out the video from Justin Bieber's Instagram for yourself.