Update: Variety refutes that Venom: Let There Be Carnage will be delayed to 2022. Sony has made no official statement on the matter at this time.
The original article follows:
At the beginning of summer it felt like we’d finally be done writing articles about films being delayed due to COVID, but alas here we are yet again. Vulture is reporting that Sony film Venom: Let There Be Carnage will likely be delayed to January 21, 2022, for what the studio hopes are greener cinematic pastures. That date is when Morbius is set to release, so most likely that film will be delayed as well, though Vulture does not report on when it would move to.
Sony had a grand showing over the past few days at CinemaCon, shouting for anyone that could hear that day-and-date digital releases were bad for the industry (an obvious claim for the only major studio without a streaming platform), debuting the much-hyped Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, and even screening Ghostbusters: Afterlife for the audience. However, Venom: Let There Be Carnage was entirely missing from the event despite being Sony’s next big film to release, which was what first ignited discussion of and investigation into the possibility of delay to 2022.
This means that Sony’s big Spider-Man universe will take even longer to get rolling. The studio really wants to turn its cadre of Spidey characters into an MCU-style universe, but COVID has routinely delayed its plans, slowing down momentum and pressing the question of if anyone wants one even further.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage wouldn’t be the first film to delay its release or go digital this summer, but it is by far the biggest — and to distant-feeling 2022. Studios are clearly nervous about the limited returns that major blockbusters like The Suicide Squad and Jungle Cruise developed. Those two films made decent money for the pandemic but nothing near what they needed to be considered a success, even when factoring in studio profits from streaming releases. Venom‘s possible delay may signal that more studios will push big blockbusters, though Vulture reports that huge tentpoles like Dune and No Time to Die will probably just hold onto their dates with the hopes that audiences return by their release dates and due to the massive loss of money for delaying the movies already.
Vulture does report that Marvel is taking a wait-and-see approach to its upcoming films. While Black Widow was as close to a major hit as a studio has had during the pandemic, the studio is reportedly looking at how Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings performs before possibly delaying the release of Eternals. If that happens, it could trigger a huge domino effect of Marvel films being delayed, though no mention is made of Spider-Man: Far From Home being delayed.