Warner Bros. has delayed three of its upcoming 2020 movies – In the Heights, SCOOB!, and Malignant – because of the coronavirus outbreak. In recent weeks, the entertainment industry has ground to a halt in an effort to prevent the further spread of the virus. The majority of March, April, and May movies have also been pulled off the release calendar to be rescheduled at a later time, once the situation has been contained and theaters are up and running again. Even a summer release like Minions: The Rise of Gru has been postponed due to Illumination being unable to finish the film.
Since there’s no guarantee things will be back to normal by the time June rolls around, a lot of people have been wondering whether any of the bigger films scheduled to arrive that month – namely, Wonder Woman 1984 – will end up being similarly postponed, After a report emerged last week, alleging they were considering sending it straight to streaming, WB is now officially shifting the Wonder Woman sequel back to August instead. It’s not the only movie the studio has moved back in response to the still-fluid coronavirus pandemic, either.
Deadline is reporting the studio has also removed In the Heights, SCOOB!, and Malignant from its release calendar for the time being. The latter’s August 14 release date is now being reserved for Wonder Woman 1984, with the others to be rescheduled at some point in the future.
SCOOB!, which is an animated reboot of the Scooby-Doo franchise, was previously set to open in theaters on May 15. However, considering every other wide release scheduled for that day had already been delayed over the past two weeks, it was only a matter of time before SCOOB! followed their lead. In the Heights on the other hand, wasn’t slated to arrive until the end of June. Unfortunately, the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ popular Broadway musical was still in post-production when Hollywood shut down earlier this month. With more work to be done and additional marketing needed, it’s little surprise WB went and pulled the film’s release date three months ahead of time.
On a related note: even in the best-case scenario where theaters (both in the U.S. and other major global markets) re-open for business by the end of May, all the recent film production shut-downs and movie delays could end up having a domino effect on the release calendar for the remainder of 2020 on through to 2021. There’s already been some discussions about the ways studios will go about re-scheduling all their films, whether it’s moving them to less competitive spots in the second half of 2020 or pushing some of the 2021 films back (many of which are on-hold right now, anyway) and giving them their old release dates. In light of all the uncertainty, it’s smart on WB’s part to take a wait-and see approach with upcoming films like SCOOB! in the meantime.