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The sharply rising omicron variant of COVID-19 has started to impact major film release schedules.
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Operation Mincemeat, the upcoming World War II drama from Shakespeare in Love director John Madden and starring Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen and Jason Isaacs, has been pushed back more by than three months in the U.K., with Warner Bros. moving it from Jan. 14 to April 22.
While no exact reason is known for the postponement, the U.K. is currently experiencing an explosion in omicron cases, with infections now reportedly running at 200,000 a day, according to the U.K. Health Security Agency. As per new restrictions unveiled last week, people have been encouraged to work from home, while the wearing of masks has again been made compulsory in cinemas and theaters. However, some experts have warned that the country needs to put in place more drastic measures to contain the spread of the virus and not overload hospitals.
While cinemas in the U.K. still remain very much open (the box office for October smashed records) and haven’t, as yet, been made part of the vaccine passport program (which is now required for nightclubs and other large venues), rising public fears over COVID-19 will likely have an impact on attendance once again. Operation Mincemeat, reuniting Colin Firth with The King’s Speech producer See-Saw Films a decade after their Oscar-winning smash hit, could be seen as a film skewed more toward older audiences, which have generally been more cautious about returning to public events.
A spy drama detailing the curious efforts to keep the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943 a secret, Operation Mincemeat is being released by Warner Bros. International in the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Benelux. Netflix, meanwhile, has the title for North America and Latin America, having struck a $15 million deal with See-Saw and the Cohen Media Group earlier this year.
THR has reached out to Warner Bros and Netflix.
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