Films that are keeping us waiting in 2020: the most anticipated delayed releases

With mass theater closures in the US and worldwide, moviegoers have to wait a while longer to see their favorite film stars take the big screen. We sum up some of the most anticipated films delayed for later this year.

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'A Quiet Place Part II' faces a delayed release date in 2021 (Paramount).

Evan Monk, Staff Writer

2020 has been a rough year across the board. The film industry is no exception, as health and safety concerns have halted the production of projects and barred theaters from reopening. Many of the films that were scheduled for release earlier this year have been pushed back, with a few being delayed indefinitely. For some films on this list, it is hard to imagine them making even their revised release dates, as struggles with the containment and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect the film industry.

 

The French Dispatch (2020) Dir. Wes Anderson
Original release date: Oct. 16
New date: unknown

Wes Anderson’s newest venture in storytelling will sadly not be hitting theaters next month. Movie fans showed their excitement when the first trailer for “The French Dispatch” hit the internet in mid-February. It has a star-studded cast, featuring Timothee Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Owen Wilson and Bill Murray in his ninth Anderson film appearance. The movie spans a decade and highlights different stories from a fictional newspaper called the French Dispatch. These stories range in plot, characters and timeline, but each are marked by Anderson’s one-of-a-kind approach to filmmaking. Its absence will certainly be felt by film bros and Timothee stans alike.

 

Soul (2020) Dir. Pete Doctor 

Original release date: June 19
New date: Nov. 20

“Soul” is a Disney Pixar film that was originally slated to premiere this summer. Its plot centers around a man named Joe Gardner, voiced by Jamie Foxx, who finds himself in an unfamiliar realm called “The Great Before,” where human souls find their personalities before arriving on Earth. It appears that “Soul” will draw on a similar thematic basis as 2015’s “Inside Out,” conjuring ideas of introspection and self-discovery. Jazz is a featured elem tent of this film as well, hence its title. When Disney first began promoting “Soul,” it garnered immediate controversy from online users and critics who raised concerns about the film’s handling of its Black subjects. By morphing Black characters into fictional beings or other anthropomorphized representations (à la “Princess and the Frog”), Disney shows a pattern of representation that poorly addresses Black experiences in the real world. Only time will tell how this film is received when audiences are able to weigh in on its delayed release date.

 

Black Widow (2020) Dir. Cate Shortland  

Original release date: May 1
New date: Nov. 6

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) returns with a new installment, this time focusing on the beloved character of Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson). This film winds back the clock, following “Captain America: Civil War” in the larger timeline of the MCU. It introduces new characters and greatly enhances the backstory of the Black Widow character. One notable addition to the cast is Florence Pugh, who burst onto the film scene last year, racking up major roles and nominations for films like “Midsommar” and “Little Women.” This latest role represents a career pivot for Pugh, but fans will surely support her introduction into the MCU. Which actors haven’t dabbled in a blockbuster superhero film at this point? Followers of the MCU were rightfully disappointed by the delay of this film, but they’ll be happy to know that a new date has been chosen for release.

 

A Quiet Place Part II (2021) Dir. John Krasinski  

Original release date: Sept. 4
New date: April 23, 2021

If you were left on the edge of your seat with the cliffhanger ending of 2016’s “A Quiet Place” you will be glad to know that the story isn’t over yet. However, closure sadly won’t come before the end of 2020, so here’s to hoping the second installment will be well worth the (extra) wait. This film, like the first installment, stars the likes of Emily Blunt and screenwriter/actor/director John Krasinski. If you caught a glimpse of his quarantine-friendly Youtube show,  “Some Good News,” then you know Krasinski has been making an effort to stay positive throughout his work hiatus. It will be interesting to see him change that MO and deep-dive into his character for this horror flick, which promises anything but “good news.” “A Quiet Place Part II” expands upon the lore of their first project and is expected to pack a punch as the familiar characters head into the unfamiliar outside world.

 

Candyman (2020) Dir. Nia Dacosta  

Original release date: June 12
New date: Oct. 16

Paying homage to classic horror films, “Candyman” is a direct sequel of the 1992 original. With Jordan Peele and Nia Dacosta at the helm, this movie is sure to be an explosive and thought-provoking horror experience. Taking on topics of gentrification and Black artistry, it will be interesting to see how the directors adapt the iconic horror story to today’s social landscape. Despite theater closures, “Candyman” is gearing up to premiere next month. Going off the trailer alone, which is spliced with an eerie rendition of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name,” it is clear that “Candyman” will fit well among Peele’s repertoire of Black-led horror films.

 

Mulan (2020) Dir. Niki Caro

Original release date: March 9; delayed to Aug. 21
New date: Sept. 4 on Disney+ for $29.99

It is no coincidence that three out of the six films on this list are projects overseen by Disney. In the current landscape, many major box office successes are Disney films—a harsh reality to overlook with the considerable reach of Disney and the popularity among fans to push for more sequels and franchises. Interestingly, this year’s live-action “Mulan” promises to be much different than the animated story many of us grew up on, with less frills than the animated original. The titular character still faces the odds of honor and duty, but with none of the cute sidekicks or over-the-top musical numbers. It may seem like a shock to Mulan fans of years past, but it’s all in an effort to more thoughtfully handle the Chinese folklore that Mulan is based upon. Unique to the other films on this list, Mulan is being released on the Disney+ platform for $29.99, rather than a delayed theatrical release.