They’re going to make us wait even longer.
On the same day, Warner Bros. announced the delay of its biggest 2020 summer tentpoles: Christopher Nolan‘s Tenet, Patty Jenkins‘ DC sequel Wonder Woman 1984., and Lana Wachowski‘s Matrix 4 which reunites stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss. Originally slated for release (respectively) on July 17 and August 12 of this year, and May 21 of 2021, the three would-be blockbusters flinched in the wake of the ongoing uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
The good news? For Tenet, it’s barely a nudge. Now slated for July 31, the film’s two-week delay will give theaters more time to ramp up their operations. Plus, to fill the slot, Warner’s will re-release Nolan’s Inception into theaters on the 17th, in honor of the film’s 10th Anniversary.
For Wonder Woman 1984, the bump is a more significant push. Now, the sequel will open on October 2. This is the film’s second delay. Originally scheduled for the first weekend of June, it was one of the first summer movies to be moved to a later summer date. Now, it’s officially a fall movie.
Following the insane success of Joker last year over the same frame, Warner’s is quickly taking ownership of that opening October weekend. Not only will their Wonder Woman sequel open there this year, but next year The Batman (the latest incarnation of the iconic superhero, now played by Robert Pattinson) will also launch on October’s first Friday in 2021.
The shift is the most dramatic for Matrix 4, which has been delayed just short of a full year. Now slated for April 1, 2022 (the same frame as the 1999 original), the resurrection of the Matrix franchise has been put on pause indefinitely as its shoot was abruptly halted this spring (along with every other production in the industry).
The ripple effects of that are likely still being navigated, from conflicting schedules of people involved, possible re-shoots given the degree of delay, and the ever shifting release calendar for all major studios. The 2022 release should give Warner’s time to complete that navigation.
One intriguing problem this solves: Matrix 4 and Reeves’ John Wick 4 had been scheduled for release on the same day. Welp, that takes care of that. It will still face some pretty stiff competition though. Just a week earlier on March 25, 2022, Marvel will release their MCU title Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
As of now, Disney still plans on opening their live-action Mulan on July 24 and Orion has Bill & Ted Face the Music slated for August 21.