It’s time once again for that semi-monthly Covid-19 tradition, the one that no news writer loves and that readers probably aren’t terribly fond of either: the release date shuffle. You see, when studios look at our current coronavirus-blasted landscape and realize that movies they expected would bring in close to a billion dollars simply aren’t going to make their money, even with all the good will and sanitization procedures in the world in place, they make moves. And when one domino falls, well…you know the rest.
This time, it was the abrupt (but not unsurprising) removal of Warner Bros.’ Tenet and Disney’s Mulan from the release calendar that prompted the latest game of studio dominoes. With both of those films disappearing from 2020 and moving to 2021, it means that even the biggest of franchises need to make accommodations, and that includes Marvel and Sony’s currently untitled Spider-Man 3.
Originally scheduled for July 16, 2021, Spider-Man 3 moved to Nov. 5, 2021 back in April during one of the earlier rounds of schedule changes. But as part of Disney’s latest shuffling, they moved all fifteen of the Avatar sequels (which, let’s be honest, are never actually coming out anyway) into subsequent years. Avatar 2 had been scheduled for Dec. 17, 2021, and now Sony will take advantage of that extra month and put the latest entry in their Spider-Man franchise in prime Christmas release date real estate. This marks the first time that a live action Spider-Man movie will be released during the holiday season rather than during the summer.
At the moment, this is unlikely to affect the release schedules of other Marvel movies, as there’s no Marvel Studios films scheduled directly in competition with this. The closest is Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, which doesn’t open until Feb. 11, 2022, so hopefully this doesn’t trigger the MCU dominoes to fall.
Nothing is known about Spider-Man 3 at this time, not even a title. Obviously it’s going to have to deal with the fallout of that crazy cliffhanger from Spider-Man: Far From Home. Jon Watts, director of the first two films is expected to return for this one, though, and star Tom Holland recently teased that the Spider-Man 3 story is “absolutely insane.”
We’re looking forward to seeing just what he means by that, as well as how more of Spidey’s rogues’ gallery will be reinvented for the big screen. Most importantly, we hope this pandemic subsides quickly so that studios can get back in the business of making movies and audiences can safely return to theaters.