It seems like only yesterday we were talking about how Vin Diesel was assuring fans that the newest ‘Fast & Furious’ sequel, “F9,” would arrive in May, as promised, even with the outbreak of coronavirus. Oh, that’s right, it was just yesterday. Well, what a difference a day can make, as we now know that “F9” is not only going to miss out on its May 22 release date but will also miss the entirety of 2020.
According to a post on social media, “F9,” the ninth film in the billion-dollar ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise has officially been pushed back to April 2, 2021. Yep, more than a year from now and almost a full year from its original release date. Obviously, this delay has nothing to do with the quality of the film or the readiness of the project, but instead, it is completely the result of the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged the theater industry in Asia, Europe, and likely the US.
When you’re talking about a film that cost $200 million, Universal isn’t willing to take any chances with pushing out a half-hearted release this spring. And unlike behemoths like the Marvel Studios productions, ‘Fast & Furious,’ in recent years, has been incredibly reliant on Chinese box office, in particular. And with Chinese cinemas remaining closed now, and a backlog of films building, even if they were to open tomorrow, it’s unlikely that the country’s film fans would be able to financially support “F9” in the same way they would normally.
So, with that in mind, it’s easier to just delay a year, and try again in 2021. At least now, by making this decision more than two months ahead of time, Universal is able to save some coveted marketing money and won’t be put in a position that Paramount and MGM were recently put in when they delayed “A Quiet Place 2” and “No Time To Die” so close to release dates, respectively.
As of now, you can expect “F9” in theaters around the world in April 2021.