covid-19 Warner Bros. Shakes Up Release Dates, Including The Batman, Shazam 2, The Flash

At the beginning of the month, Disney did some major reshuffling of its schedule, and now it’s Warner Bros. turn. The studio announced today extensive changes to its film release schedule as COVID-19 continues to keep movie theaters shuttered across the U.S.

The biggest move will be Matt Reeves’ The Batman being pushed from June 25, 2021, to Oct. 1, 2021. The film was forced to stop production as the coronavirus tore through the U.K., and it’s unclear when the movie will be able to start filming again. This delay reflects the amount of work that still needs to be done on the movie.

Two other DC superhero movies were delayed as well. While both The Flash and Shazam 2 were only in pre-production, Warner Bros. has altered their releases as well. The Flash is moving forward from July 1, 2022 to June 2, 2022, and Shazam 2 is pushed from April 1, 2022 to Nov. 4, 2022. When Disney pushed all its MCU content back, many of the delays were related to the interconnected nature of the franchise, but the DCEU is still in a strange quagmire after Justice League. So these delays seem to have more to do with scheduling conflicts and production delays.

Outside of superheroes, other major WB films are delayed. The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel to The Sopranos, moved from Sept. 25, 2020 to March 12, 2021. A Baz Luhrman-directed Elvis biopic starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, whose release date was stolen by The Batman, is now opening on Nov. 5, 2021. Finally, Will Smith’s King Richard, which focuses on the father of Venus and Serena Williams, was pushed from Nov. 25, 2020 to Nov. 19, 2021.

Warner Bros. is standing firm on two end-of-summer release dates, however. Tenet, from Christopher Nolan, is still set for July 17, and Wonder Woman 1984, which was already rescheduled from June, is still landing on Aug. 14 — for now.

Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is a film critic with more than a decade of experience reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and videogames. He runs the website Flixist.com and will talk your ear off about James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.

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