From The Matrix 4 to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the coronavirus pandemic has ground production to a standstill, leaving many of the teams behind the biggest blockbusters uncertain when they will be able to call action again.
Most studios are reportedly letting talent and their reps know that at this point they do not expect these stalled productions to get back underway until mid-May at the earliest. When most of these shutdowns were first announced, studios hinted that it was possible that people could go back to work in April. But even May could be overly optimistic — the pandemic is not expected to reach its apex in major production hubs like New York City until the end of April.
Studios won’t be able to go back to work until local governments lift the bans on gatherings of more than 10 people, a number that most sets routinely eclipse. One source believes that the first films to resume production will likely be ones that are shooting in the U.S., as the prospect of filming overseas presents too many logistical challenges given the global nature of COVID-19.
Along with pretty much every other major production, cameras also recently stopped rolling on Warner Bros.’ The Batman amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. At the time, we didn’t get to hear from anyone directly involved with the project, but director Matt Reeves has now shared an update via Twitter.
Responding to a fan’s query, Reeves confirmed that filming on the Dark Knight’s reboot has “shut down till it is safe for us all to resume”.
Yes, we have shut down till it is safe for us all to resume… Everyone safe for the moment, thank you for asking, and stay safe too… https://t.co/wDhlYtphlm
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) March 25, 2020
Unfortunately, he doesn’t give us any indication as to when that might happen. The initial shutdown was expected to last two weeks, but things have obviously escalated in that time, so we’re just going to have to wait and see how this miserable situation plays out
Films that were already on the release schedule are also being pushed back. THR reports that Sony has rearranged its entire upcoming slate, including Spider-Man spinoff Morbius, the new Ghostbusters movie and the Tom Holland-starring Uncharted. The schedule changes, announced late Monday, underscore the uncertainty facing Hollywood amid the coronavirus pandemic and unprecedented theater closures.
Morbius, which was set to hit theaters on July 31, is now set to open on March 19, 2021. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is moving off of a July 10, 2020 release to March 5, 2021, which was previously occupied by the studio’s splashy video game adaptation Uncharted.
The Sony titles now join a long list of studio tentpoles, including Mulan, No Time to Die and A Quiet Place Part II, which have postponed release due to the coronavirus, leaving the upcoming theatrical calendar.