'The Batman' Delays Release to 2022 as Warner Bros. Shuffles Calendar
The Batman, which stars Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader, is on the move again. After a series of production delays, the superhero pic's release date in theaters is being pushed from Oct. 1, 2021, to March 4, 2022, Warner Bros. announced Monday evening.
The tentpole was among a number of key changes made to the studio's release calendar as it grapples with the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.
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Warners isn't ceding the 2021 fall date entirely. Instead, it will now open Dune on Oct. 1.
Other major changes include the untitled fourth The Matrix movie moving up from April 1, 2022, to Dec. 22, 2021.
On the DC front, The Flash, starring Ezra Miller as the speedy superhero, is moving back from June 3, 2022 to Nov. 4, 2022. Shazam! Fury of the Gods is leaving that Nov. 4, 2022, date and is shifting to June 2, 2023, while Dwayne Johnson spinoff Black Adam is moving off its Dec. 22, 2021, slot and is now undated.
In other changes: The video game adaptation Minecraft is exiting its March 4, 2022, date and is now undated.
Outside of Warners and Legendary's Dune, which has completed filming, the reason for many of the shifts is production delays. The Batman, for example, shut down in March at the onset the coronavirus pandemic, and only a few days after resuming production in London, was shut down again Sept. 3 after Pattinson tested positive for COVID-19. Following Pattinson successfully quarantining, filming resumed on Sept. 17.
Dune’s new date comes after Warners had to push its high-profile superhero sequel Wonder Woman 1984 from Oct. 2 of this year to Dec. 25, 2020. No studio wants to compete against itself. For now, Warners is keeping Wonder Woman 1984 at its December date.
Earlier in the evening, rival studio Sony made changes to its calendar as well. The studio will open Stage 6 Films' The Kid Detective next week, on Oct. 16, and has moved the Milla Jovovich video game adaptation Monster Hunter up four months to Dec. 30, helping give theaters at least some new films at a time when they are desperate to lure audiences back, even if it's with smaller titles.
by Cathy Whitlock