Early Summer and Early Fall 2022 will now have Tom Cruise blockbuster bookends.
With the Delta virus surging in more states across the country, Paramount Pictures has decided to delay both of its Cruise-fueled franchise tentpoles.
Top Gun: Maverick, initially set for a Thanksgiving takeoff on November 19, 2021 will now fly over Memorial Day weekend on May 27, 2022. The date will land nearly two years after the sequel’s long-anticipated debut. Originally set for June 2020, the initial COVID19 outbreak pushed it to late 2020, then again to June 2021, and once more to this November before finally settling on next May.
Mission: Impossible 7, which had been slated for Memorial Day 2022, has now been bumped to fall. It will launch on Friday September 30, 2022.
In addition, Paramount also noted that its daredevil doc-comedy Jackass Forever has been pushed from October 22, 2021 to February 4, 2022.
These moves mark the biggest 2021 delays yet. Early signs of skittish studios first came when Sony bumped Venom: Let There Be Carnage a slight three weeks, shifting the sequel from late September 2021 to mid-October (the 15th, to be exact). The studio also sold off its animated title Hotel Transylvania: Transformania to Amazon Prime, pulling it from theaters altogether.
Warner Bros. also put a slight pause on its hybird release of Dune in theaters and on streamer HBO Max, moving it from October 1, 2021 to three weeks later on the 22nd.
Seeing an opportunity, Sony moved Ghostbusters: Afterlife from its November 11, 2021 date to a week later on the newly open slot of November 19. Now that it’s been vacated by Top Gun: Maverick, the family-friendly Thanksgiving window plays right into key demographic of the new teen-centric Ghostbusters adventure.
For a hot minute, Sony and distrib partner MGM may have considered sliding Daniel Craig‘s final Bond thriller No Time To Die into that prime Thanksgiving frame. Tempting as it is, shifting Sony’s Ghostbusters sequel is an easier lateral move given the fact that Sony/MGM’s global marketing machine for Bond has recently (and fully) committed its publicity train to launching No Time To Die on September 30 in the U.K. and October 8 in the U.S.
But bringing it back to Paramount, both Cruise delays were seeming more and more likely over recent weeks. M:I-7 has faced a few COVID-related delays and could still be kneecapped by more. Giving the mammoth production another four-month buffer would allow Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie to get it done right without being rushed.
And when it comes to Top Gun: Maverick, it just seems right that it’ll be a Summer Movie rather than a Christmas one. It feels like a Summer Popcorn blockbuster, and it’s particularly appropriate that the military-themed action adventure would open over summer’s first patriotic holiday vacation.