The reality of Hollywood delays
As headlines in the world of film continue to be dominated by delay after delay, fans despair as films beyond even 2020 also get pushed back further and further away. But is this really something new in Hollywood, despite the global pandemic?
Brits are more than accustomed to a queue, it's in their blood, often forming a queue where you don't even need one. You might have changed your mind, realised you already got milk in the fridge, yet if you leave, you've lost your place and you start all over again...
It's a lot like the movie business and the current line of films that are stepping in and out of the queue.
Many key dates on the movie calendar for the rest of 2020 and the whole of 2021 are continuously changing. The year that will hope to be rid of the coronavirus is chock full with not only movies originally slated for next year, but also ones pushed back from our current one. Many films are now acting as simple placeholders in dates the studios are eager to keep to themselves, yet the world keeps hoping and accepting these dates as fact for their respective movies.
A knock-on effect of this is that future projects yet to complete production or even begin work are now being delayed years in order to space out the many movies that were planned for the next decade or so.
We're all familiar with Marvel's famous timelines that give a simple and convenient look at what the MCU has ahead. If a project gets delayed that's no problem for Kevin Feige who can simply slide along everything by one in his timeline, regardless of whether the project suits that release.
So as the world waits on tenterhooks in hopes of the virus easing up, films such as Tenet, Black Widow, and Wonder Woman 1984 continuously edge closer and closer to 2021, with the question being- how long will film fans truly have to wait?
Recent news has reported Tenet and Mulan have been delayed indefinitely as Hollywood tries to weigh up how to stick to its tried and tested worldwide strategy. There to avoid leaks, spoilers, and boost the project's momentum, the strategy may have to be sacrificed or the films delayed even longer, similar to Jungle Cruise, Morbius and The Fast and the Furious 9, who were all delayed till summer next year (a decision that's looking better and better as time goes on).
Also making headlines are films such as the Avatar sequels, the new Star Wars trilogy, and the third Tom Holland Spider-Man, all causing more and more sadness from fans, despite the fact we've never really had any true glimpses of these projects in recent years.
You know what they say, you can't miss something that you never had.
A film like Black Widow was within arms reach, with plenty of footage and mere weeks till audiences could see it before it was cruelly taken away. Avatar 2 on the other hand? The sequel has been promised ever since the success of the first film all the way back in 2009, so another push back is really nothing new for the eventual blockbuster juggernaut.
As the media struggles to generate headlines with so little content coming out of Hollywood, each delay is treated as a big deal, when in reality, it's the same old same old.
Delays have been rampant even before recent times, with The New Mutants being the most prominent as it was delayed three times even before there was a global crisis. The Interview, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, and The Hunt are all films in recent years unable to control external factors, yet fans having to wait one more year for an ominous Star Wars trilogy is something new?
Currently, the movie industry really is playing with fire, giving itself the reputation of an industry that doesn't know what to do with its content.
The approach taken by the live event sector makes a lot more sense. 2020 has been written off for music, theatre, and sports, who have all continued in some way, but made light of the situation by promising to come back even better in 2021.
If productions are to be continually affected by the coronavirus, the whole of the film industry will ultimately have to be delayed by however long this pandemic is going to take.
The global lockdown has affected millions around the world who've all had more time indoors than ever. It has given us time to watch films we've never seen, series we never finished, or the franchises we never got into.
While old films may not have the dazzle of something new, Hollywood would be smart to continue to make use of its 100-year history to get people once again excited about film.
This is not to say cinemas cannot celebrate in this too. U.K cinemas are currently welcoming back fans with showings of old classics, and extended cuts of films such as Lord of the Rings. Though it may not bring the money new blockbusters do, hopefully, it can keep the industry afloat until people feel safe, and Hollywood can confidently return to the global stage.
In the meantime, perhaps it's time to turn our heads to the smaller indie productions and forgotten gems that don't need to worry about how many millions they make on opening weekend?
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