‘West Side Story,’ ‘Black Widow,’ more films stalled by COVID-19

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The coronavirus pandemic keeps pummeling the already-hobbled film industry, with Disney now postponing numerous big box-office premieres to 2021.

Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” reboot has been pushed back a full year by the company — to Dec. 10, 2021, from Dec. 18, 2020 — and Marvel’s highly anticipated “Black Widow,” starring Scarlett Johansson and previously postponed to Nov. 6, won’t spring into action until May 7 of next year, according to Variety. Other Marvel superhero flicks are later still: The debut of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” starring Simu Liu, is being pushed two months, to July 9, 2021, while “Eternals,” featuring the newly buff Kumail Nanjiani, will be released Nov. 5, 2021, nine months after its original premiere date.

“Marvel made the right & responsible decision. There’s a pandemic. Nothing is more important than health & lives,” Nanjiani wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday afternoon. “I can’t tell ppl to go to a movie theater until I feel safe going to one. Take care of yourselves. I promise it’ll be worth the wait!”

The hold put on “West Side Story” has another effect: It will no longer be in contention for the 2021 Oscars race.

In addition, Kenneth Branagh’s “Death on the Nile” — a 20th Century Studios sequel to 2017’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” both based on Agatha Christie mysteries — has been pushed to Dec. 18 from its Oct. 23 spot. However, kiddie filmgoers won’t have to wait any longer for Pixar’s heart-stirring animated movie “Soul” — featuring Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Questlove, Daveed Diggs, Angela Bassett and Phylicia Rashad — which retained its Nov. 20 premiere.

COVID-19 has substantially disrupted film production — as well as TV and Broadway schedules — alongside most movie theaters remaining closed and projects like Disney’s live-action “Mulan” getting pushed to streaming (for a price). The coronavirus has forced other high-profile schedule changes, too, including the Gal Gadot-starring “Wonder Woman 1984” (moved by Warner Bros. to Christmas Day from Oct. 2) and the Universal horror remake “Candyman,” which has been booted from its Oct. 16 release to an unspecified date in 2021.

The new moves indicate some soul-searching taking place by the film industry in the wake of Christopher Nolan’s big-budget ($200 million) film “Tenet,” which nabbed less than $30 million in US ticket sales since its Sept. 3 premiere.

Here is where 2020 movie premiere dates currently stand.

October 9

The War With Grandpa (101 Studios)

October 16

2 Hearts (Freestyle)

Honest Thief (Open Road)

October 23

The Empty Man (20th Century Studios)

October 30

Fatale (Lionsgate)

Come Play (Focus/Amblin)

November 6

Let Him Go (Focus)

November 13

Freaky (Universal/Blumhouse)

The Comeback Trail (Cloudburst)

November 20

No Time to Die (MGM)

Soul (Disney)

November 25

Voyagers (Lionsgate)

Happiest Season (Sony/Tri-Star)

The Croods: A New Age (Universal/Dreamworks Animation)

December 11

Free Guy (20th/Disney)

December 18

Death on the Nile (20th Century Fox)

Coming 2 America (Paramount)

Dune (Warner Bros./Legendary)

December 25

Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros.)

News of the World (Universal)

December 30

Escape Room 2 (Sony/Screen Gems)


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