The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought multiple parts of the world to a screeching a halt. The movie industry got hit hard with theaters closing back in March, and while there is a push to reopen now, it might be too soon. A lot of big productions have been shut down or were supposed to come out, but some hurt more than others. Some movies were inches away from finally getting off of the ground after being in development hell for years or a film that has been delayed multiple times. These movies getting hurt by COVID-19 just seemed like a troubled production getting kicked while they were down, so let's take a look at five of the productions where the COVID-19 pandemic delaying them hurts just a little more than others.
The New Mutants
This writer has talked about this movie at length and how she wants The New Mutants to not only get a release date in theaters but for it to be a commercial and critical success. At the time of writing, the movie is holding onto its August 28th release date, but who knows if that is going to happen. An X-Men horror movie that got caught up in the Disney-Fox acquisition The New Mutants began development in 2015 and was officially shot in 2017 for an April 2018 release date. We didn't know it at the time, but the movie wasn't complete, and it moved from April 2018 to February 2019 to August 2019 to April 2020, and all looked well. Disney brought director Josh Boone back to finish post-production, they have a decent marketing campaign going, there was hype, all seemed well, and then COVID-19 happened. The real tragedy is The New Mutants probably would have done well in April, and its prospects for this month still don't look very good. What a shame.
The Uncharted movie has been in development for twelve years. At the end of the day, this is a movie that has gone through so much development hell that the first person they wanted to star in the film, Mark Walberg, aged out of the role. This movie has gone through six different directors and who even knows how many versions of the script as it tried to get to the big screen. They have a big star now, Tom Holland, and a director who actually seems interested in making the movie happen. It was supposed to start production at the beginning of March, and it looks like they have gotten maybe two weeks into principal photography before COVID-19 shut them down. Production restarted the end of the last month, but that latest delay is just another hurdle that this movie has had to clear to try and get made.
This is another movie that has been fighting to get made for many years in one form or another. There have been rumors about a third Ghostbusters movie since the second movie came out, and while there was a video game and the film by Paul Feig fans have wanted a proper sequel for years. The project for real movement back in 2004, but it stalled out several times until the movie was officially announced back in January 2019. After over two decades, fans were finally going to get some version of the sequel they wanted, and the movie was set to come out in July 2020. Sony Pictures, however, decided to delay the film to 2021 back in March, which was probably the right idea considering that we have no idea what the industry is going to look like later this year and Ghostbusters is a summer movie. That does mean that people who have been waiting for two decades have to wait yet another year.
The DC universe has had some troubled productions, but none has been so troubled as the Ezra Miller starring The Flash. The movie was first announced in 2014 as part of the big DC universe cinematic universe push and slated for a 2018 release date that it would in no way meet. The movie is currently on its fourth director and, much like Uncharted, who knows what version of the script at this point. There was a rumor earlier this year that The Flash was supposed to start production this summer for its 2022 release date, but that clearly didn't happen. Right now, they are saying filming is slated to begin in early 2021, but we'll have to see what the state of the world looks like by then. Maybe the ongoing quarantine will keep their star from allegedly choking female fans.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has dominated the box office since 2008, but in 2010 they introduced a new player to the board with Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow in Iron Man 2. The MCU was only three movies in and immediately seemed to like the character. She was part of the Avengers, but by the time phase two rolled around, people began to notice that there weren't any female lead movies in the series. There seemed like an obvious choice, and Marvel Mega-Boss Kevin Feige teased the idea all the way back in 2010, but it wasn't to be. He brought it up yet again in 2014, and this was still five years before Marvel would release a female lead movie with Captain Marvel. Natasha was a primary supporting player throughout most of the MCU, but she was finally getting her chance to shine in a solo film that was supposed to come out in May 2020. However, the pandemic has pushed the movie back to November, and we still don't know if it'll actually make that release date. Natasha is way overdue for a solo film as it is, and the pandemic making the wait longer is just sad.
An honorable mention for COVID-19 screwing up the year of female-fronted blockbusters in general getting kicked in the shins. We were supposed to see major female-fronted movies in 2020 included Black Widow, Mulan, Wonder Woman 1984 on top of the already released Birds of Prey, and The Invisible Man. This was supposed to be a big year for female-fronted movies and female directors as well, and COVID-19 cost us that. Absolutely no fun for that.
Honorable mention also goes to No Time To Die, which was a mess because of director issues and might not see its fall 2020 release date. And Top Gun: Maverick, which has been in various stages of development since 2010 and got pushed from June 2020, t0 December 2020, to July 2021 due to the pandemic. If you want to actually see any these movies get released you should stay home and wear your stupid mask.