Sony Pictures has delayed Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the next film in the Ghostbusters franchise. The new movie was originally scheduled to hit theaters in July, but has been pushed back due to uncertainly from the coronavirus pandemic. Sony also delayed the Spider-Man universe movie Morbius to the same month.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife will now hit theaters on March 5, 2021 and was originally scheduled for July 10. Morbius was scheduled to hit theaters on July 31, but will now open on March 18, 2021. Uncharted, a film adaptation of the video game franchise of the same name, was scheduled to open on March 5, 2021, but has now been pushed to Oct. 8, 2021.
Sony also delayed Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway from Aug. 7 to Jan. 15, 2021. The Kevin Hart comedy Fatherhood was moved up from Jan. 15, 2021 to Oct. 23, a sign that Sony hopes movie theaters will be reopened by October.
The Tom Hanks World War II movie Greyhound and an untitled Marvel movie will be given new dates in the future. Greyhound was set to open on June 12, while the mystery Marvel movie was scheduled for Oct. 8, 2021.
The release date shuffling comes as the movie industry grapples with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Both major movie theater chains in the U.S., AMC and Regal, closed their locations indefinitely earlier this month. Independent movie theaters have also been forced to close due to local "shelter-in-place" orders to help slow the spread of the virus.
The new Ghostbusters movie is the fourth movie overall in the franchise, but is set in a different universe from the 2016 reboot, which has since retroactively been titled Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. The new movie picks up after the events of Ghostbusters II.
Afterlife was directed by Jason Reitman, the son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, with a script co-written by Gil Kenan. The cast includes McKenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Bokeem Woodbine and Tracy Letts. Several stars from the original films will be back, including Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts.
"Older Ghostbusters fans will find it's a really, really faithful approach to the series," Wolfhard recently told NME of the new movie. "While young people, if not everyone, will find that, first and foremost, Ghostbusters is about family and the relationships that these people have made. It's also really funny, so I'm really excited for people to see it."
Photo credit: Sony Pictures