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SYFY WIRE The Batman

Do the Warner Bros. shuffle: The Batman delayed again until 2022, Matrix 4 will arrive early

By Josh Grossberg
The Batman Robert Pattinson

That sound you hear is Batman fans the world over groaning.

According to Variety, Warner Bros. has decided to postpone The Batman, the studio's eagerly awaited reboot of the Caped Crusader starring Robert Pattinson, once again — pushing back its recently re-scheduled Oct. 1, 2021 release date until 2022.

The studio’s new target for The Batman is now Mar. 4, 2022. That’s a far cry from the Matt Reeves-helmed blockbuster’s original release date of June 25, 2021, which was then delayed until Oct. 1, 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This comes after the shoot had to temporarily shut down production for a second time, after Pattinson reportedly tested positive for coronavirus before resuming filming a couple of weeks ago.

But The Batman’s not the only big shift in Warner’s ever-changing release calendar in the era of COVID-19. In some good exhibition news for once, the studio’s other major tentpole, Lana Wachowski’s Matrix 4, is getting moved up. The Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne Moss-led sci-fi sequel was originally supposed to bow on Apr. 1, 2022, but will now reload several months earlier on Dec. 22, 2021, in time for the holiday season.

Per the trade, the shuffling doesn't stop there.

The Flash was supposed to premiere on June 3, 2022, but has now moved to Nov. 2, 2022. Taking its summer spot will be one of two yet-to-be announced films that Warner has in the pipeline. The other will premiere on Aug. 5, 2022. And last but not least, Shazam 2 will now vacate its Nov. 4, 2022 position in favor of June 2, 2023.

Today’s calendar juggling comes on the heels of Warner Bros. announcing that Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic, Dune, will now drift like the sands of Arrakis to Oct. 1, 2021, instead of opening Dec. 18, 2020 — a predictable hibernation considering all the money being poured into the highly anticipated remake of the Frank Herbert classic.

Meanwhile, the studio has removed Dwayne Johnson's superhero flick Black Adam and big screen video game adaptation Minecraft from the schedule entirely. No word when they'll be released.

But no doubt, theatrical windows will continue to evolve along with the virus that has upended not just Hollywood, but the world.