Paramount is delaying the rest of its 2021 film slate, moving Top Gun: Maverick from its Thanksgiving weekend release date to May 27th, 2022, close to three years after it was first announced. It’s also moving Jackass Forever to release on February 4th, 2022, instead of the originally planned October 22nd, 2021, via Deadline.
Additionally, due to Top Gun: Maverick taking its former May 2022 slot, Mission: Impossible 7 is getting another delay: it’ll now be out on September 30th, 2022.
The delays are due to concerns over the spike in COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant of the virus. Deadline notes that Paramount, rather than risk releasing potential billion-dollar franchise starters like the Top Gun sequel seeing comparatively lackluster pandemic box office numbers, would rather just kick everything down the line in hopes that things will continue to improve in 2022. It’s for a similar reason that Paramount isn’t just shifting the films to its Paramount Plus streaming service — there’s simply too much money at stake here.
The news comes after Paramount had previously moved its live-action Clifford the Big Red Dog movie off of its September 17th release date over similar COVID-19 delays. The studio has yet to announce a new date for the movie.
Despite Paramount’s move, there are still several major films set to hit theaters in the coming months (at least, for now). Disney still has Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings set to bring the MCU back to theatrical exclusivity on September 3rd, followed by Eternals on November 5th. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is slated for October 18th (although there have been rumors of Sony considering a delay), Ghostbuster: Afterlife on November 19th (as Sony moves to take Top Gun’s vacated spot) and Spider-Man: No Way Home set for December. There’s also the long-delayed James Bond film, No Time To Die, which was one of the first films to be impacted by COVID-19 delays. It is set to finally hit theaters in the US on October 8th.
Lastly, Warner Bros. still has some of its biggest tent poles on the calendar for the end of 2021: Dune (on October 22nd) and The Matrix: Resurrections (on December 22nd.) Unlike the previously mentioned films, though, those movies won’t be theatrical exclusives. Thanks to WarnerMedia’s unique 2021 release strategy, they’ll also be available on HBO Max the same day that they debut in theaters.