Since last March, waiting for new movie releases has felt like a cat-and-mouse game. With the prevailing pandemic causing theater closures everywhere, highly-anticipated movies are finding themselves further and further delayed. While some movies have taken the chance of being released in theaters, their box office performance has been disappointing. This has left the release dates for many other 2021 movies in limbo.
So which movies will likely be coming out on their scheduled 2021 release dates, and which ones will be pushed back again? There’s no way to know for sure, but here is what is known about these delayed movies and whether or not they are likely to be delayed again.
This all-star upcoming James Bond movie has hit a steady stream of bad luck. Originally scheduled to be released in November 2019, the movie has since been delayed due to a quick director change and the ongoing pandemic. No Time to Die stars Daniel Craig, in his final installment as the titular character, as well as Ana de Armas, most known for her leading role in Knives Out, Lashana Lynch, who played Air Force Pilot Marie Rambeau in Captain Marvel, and Rami Malek, star of Night at the Museum, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Mr. Robot. This feature film will follow the recently-retired Bond as he is enlisted onto a new mission after the abduction of an important scientist.
No Time to Die’s most recent delay to April 2, 2021 was credited to their distribution company’s desire to “preserve the theatrical experience for moviegoers.” With its high budget and now-wasted hefty marketing investment, the movie is not likely to be released to streaming services. As April is not very far away, it’s hard to imagine an astronomical attitude change surrounding the health and safety of reopening movie venues.
The upcoming science-fiction movie Dune, based on the renowned novel of the same name, features actors Timothee Chalamet, Oscar Issac, and Zendaya. It was initially slated to be released last December. Dune takes place on a barren planet. It follows a hostile group of people on a trek to obtain a highly-sought valuable fictional drug that grants the user superhuman abilities. After suffering two delays, the movie is currently scheduled to premiere on HBO Max on October 1, 2021 simultaneously with its anticipated theatrical release.
Dune has long-since finished filming and is now in post-production. Despite the director’s adversity to the new wave of streaming service releases, its distribution company Warner Bros. Pictures has already struck a deal with HBO Max guaranteeing the release. This movie is not expected to be delayed again.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Black Widow is highly-sought after. The character already has a renowned fandom and prior to the delays, the movie had already launched multiple marketing campaigns. This flick has been delayed twice and has now been delayed over a year later than originally scheduled, pushing the release to May 7, 2021. Black Widow is expected to chronicle Natasha Romanoff’s (Scarlett Johansson) story post-Captain America: Civil War. While Avengers: Age of Ultron gave bits of information about her pre-Avengers life, this will be the first extensive look into her origin story and her familial relationships.
At the latest Disney Investor’s Day stream, it was announced that there are zero plans for Black Widow to be released on Disney+ or another streaming service before or at the same time as a theatrical release. That information worries fans as the pandemic worsens and the movie theater industry continues to lose revenue and many cities and companies have closed movie venues indefinitely. Much to everyone’s dismay, unless Disney takes a more progressive approach to the inevitable success and future of video-on-demand releases, Black Widow is likely to be delayed again.
This Kevin Fiege produced movie is scheduled to premiere this summer, July 9, 2021, only pushed back a few months from its original May 2021 release date. It stars Kim Convenience‘s Simi Lui as the titular character and Awkwafina as his best friend and partner-in-crime, Katy. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings brings back the infamous Ten Rings terrorist group, previously seen in the Iron Man trilogy, as Shang-Chi is forced to confront them and his past demons.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is an integral part of Marvel’s Phase Four, alongside Black Widow. As Disney does not seem inclined to budge on the theatrical release of its major Marvel releases, this movie’s premiere is rather flimsy. However, with the release date being in the summer and almost seven months away, it’s hard to speculate on potential delays.
Starring Once Upon A Time’s Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, and Stranger Things’ Dacre Montgomery, Baz Luhrmann’s work will be gracing the big screen again with a biopic of the King of Rock-n-Roll. This upcoming drama, Elvis, was delayed roughly one month, from October 2021 to November 5, 2021.
This is another project with Warner Bros. Pictures, and despite how much theatrical releases compliment Luhrmann’s flashy and grand movies, the distribution team is supportive of the paradigm-shift towards making movies more accessible from home. Hopefully, Elvis doesn’t have to worry about that, with its release being at the end of 2021.
Cherry is an upcoming crime-drama by the Russo Brothers, the team notorious for their work on Avengers: Endgame and the television series Community. It stars Tom Holland as Cherry, an Army medic who begins to commit crimes to feed his opioid addiction. This will not be Holland’s first dark role. He recently played a violent and merciless young man on the run in the Netflix movie The Devil All The Time. After a viral Twitter mishap involving the movie’s promotional poster, fans were left antsy for more.
This anticipated movie is not likely to be delayed again. While its release date is soon, February 26, 2021, it has already reached an agreement with Apple TV+ to begin streaming just a few weeks later on March 12, 2021. That being said, the Cherry production team seem to be foreseeing the continual movie theater avoidance and caution and have already made arrangements to guarantee its release.