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WIRE Buzz: Free Guy off Disney's release calendar; The Mandalorian goes buccaneering

By Nivea Serrao
Free Guy

Due to the ongoing global pandemic, it's been a terrible year for movie theaters across the world, and sadly, the movie delays aren't letting up. Disney announced Thursday that it has scrapped Free Guy and Death on the Nile from what is left of the 2020 release schedule. (Both films fall under the 20th Century Fox banner, which Disney acquired last year.) But unlike a lot of other studios, which have announced new dates in 2021, the possible premiere of both movies remains indefinite. 

So far the only major blockbuster or tentpole movie to open this year following the rise of the coronavirus pandemic is Christopher Nolan's most recent mind-and-time-bending action set-piece, Tenet, but even that was subject to multiple delays over the summer as cinemas were forced to shut down to prevent the spread of the virus. In recent months, both AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas have opened select theaters up for business, relying on smaller releases and old favorites to attract moviegoers back to the big screen.

Right now, the only major movie on schedule for a theatrical release is DC's Wonder Woman 1984, which saw multiple delays itself and could be moved into 2021 if Warner Bros. changes its mind. For now, however, the Patty Jenkins-directed feature film is set to come out on Dec. 25. 

Free Guy sees Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) playing an NPC (non-playable character) in an open-world Grand Theft Auto-esque game, who gains sentience and immediately proceeds to "game" the system. Directed by Shawn Levy (Real Steel), the film also stars Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), Taika Waititi (Thor Love and Thunder), Joe Keery (Stranger Things), and Utkarsh Ambudkar (Mulan). 

Death on the Nile sees the return of director/star Kenneth Branagh in the central role of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's most beloved and famous detective. The sequel to 2017's Murder on the Orient Express, Branagh's latest whodunnit finds Poirot on vacation in Egypt, leisurely sailing on a cruise up the Nile before his vacation is inevitably interrupted by murder. The film features an all-star cast including Armie Hammer (Man from U.N.C.L.E.), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Letitia Wright (Black Panther), Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones), Russell Brand (Minions: The Rise of Gru), and Annette Benning (Captain Marvel), among others. 

No new release dates have been set yet for Free Guy or Death On the Nile

The Mandalorian S2

The second season of The Mandalorian may have just begun, but Season 3 of the smash hit Disney+ series could be in production this month, perhaps under a rather swashbuckling working title. Deadline points out today that Season 3 of The Mandalorian was featured on a recent list in Production Weekly, with the working title "Buccaneer." 

Despite Disney not officially greenlighting a third (or fourth) season yet, creator, writer, and director on the series Jon Favreau (Iron Man) noted last month that pre-production for it had already started, and that he'd like to start filming at the end of 2020, possibly in late November or early December. Now, Deadline notes that some sources are saying that could happen as early as next week, while others project it as late as Spring 2021.  

But here's where Deadline's rumor milling gets even more interesting. Per writer Nellie Andreeva, "one explanation" for the disparity in dates "could be rumors that another Mandalorian-related project, I hear possibly a Boba Fett miniseries, would film first, starting next week, with The Mandalorian Season 3 following after a monthlong break."

We've heard about possible spinoffs before, but could Boba Fett be the aforementioned Buccaneer? 

Perhaps. Perhaps not. While there is no Star Wars character that can outright claim that title, this could be a clue pointing in the direction of small-time space pirate Hondo Ohnaka, who appeared both in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels; Dave Filoni, one of the current executive producers on The Mandalorian, worked on both those series as well. It could also possibly tie into the origins of the darksaber itself, a weapon previously featured on Rebels, but last seen wielded by Moff Gideon (Giacarlo Esposito), despite having been forged by Mandalorian people.

Or it could mean nothing! We'll have to wait and see, assuming things become official. 

Season 2 of The Mandalorian currently airs on Disney+