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Warner Bros. sets Matrix 4 for 2021, Flash movie for 2022; Akira off the schedule

By Jacob Oller
Flash Justice League

The long-gestating standalone superhero film starring The Flash looks like it will actually be reaching audiences, as Warner Bros. released a pair of high-profile genre film release dates today. The Flash was one of them, alongside the untitled fourth Matrix film, and was certainly the most surprising. The last DC fans heard of the Ezra Miller vehicle, it had just landed It director Andy Muschietti, who had taken over after all sorts of folks (Miller included) had tried their hands at steering its standalone story.

According to The Hollywood ReporterThe Flash will be hopefully hitting theaters on July 1, 2022. The new Matrix sequel is headed to audiences about a year earlier, on May 21, 2021. That film, helmed by Matrix franchise co-creator Lana Wachowski, brings a cast including newcomers and familiar faces alike -- Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jada Pinkett Smith -- to the sci-fi series.

May 21, 2021, is also when Reeves is set to debut John Wick 4 ... which could mean that one of the two films will see their studio balk and change the date in order to not fall victim to Reeves overload.

Finally, the live-action Akira adaptation that was supposed to be directed by Taika Waititi (and released on that same May 21, 2021, date) has been removed from the Warner Bros. calendar. The ambitious project had already been tabled when Waititi bumped it to fulfill his directorial obligation on Thor: Love and Thunder.

Will either of these dates stick? Will The Flash finally get a film of his own? And how will these films affect the larger genre and/or DCEU landscape? As this big announcement shows, it's hard to set anything in stone — especially with properties as volatile and surprising as The FlashThe Matrix, and Akira.