Another major franchise film has postponed its 2020 release date due to ongoing concerns about the spread of Covid-19, known colloquially as the coronavirus, around the world. Universal Pictures announced Thursday that Fast & Furious 9, also marketed as simply F9, will no longer arrive this May — and will instead push back its release date by nearly a year to April 2021.
In a statement attributed to "The Fast Family," Universal and the filmmakers cited concerns over the ability of fans around the world to see the film at the same time as a key reason for the move.
"We feel all the love and the anticipation you have for the next chapter in our saga.
"That’s why it’s especially tough to let you know that we have to move the release date of the film. It’s become clear that it won’t be possible for all of our fans around the world to see the film this May.
"We are moving the global release date to April 2021, with North America opening on April 2. While we know there is disappointment in having to wait a little while longer, this move is made with the safety of everyone as our foremost consideration.
"Moving will allow our global family to experience our new chapter together. We’ll see you next spring."
The Fast franchise — which so far includes eight installments in the main series and one spinoff — has fared particularly well internationally in recent installments, and as the coronavirus continues to move around the world numerous theatrical markets have been scaled back. In some countries, including Italy and China, movie theaters remain closed to help mitigate the spread of the virus, and there's no word on how long those closures will remain in place.
F9 is the latest in an ever-growing list of cancellations and postponements throughout the entertainment world. What began with the Bond film No Time to Die, which moved its April release to November earlier this month, has since grown to encompass various film festivals, comics conventions, and other film releases. Earlier today, director John Krasinski announced that A Quiet Place Part II, his much-anticipated sequel that was due out later this month, will now be moved to a still-undetermined later date. Just hours later, the Fast franchise followed suit.
Keep checking back with SYFY WIRE for all the latest updates on Covid-19's continued impact on the entertainment world and beyond.