Not so fast.
Universal Pictures just announced that the ninth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise won’t come to theaters until April 2021, a nearly year-long postponement from its original scheduled release on May 22 of this year.
If that news makes you furious, know that the decision was made out of an abundance of caution. The COVID-19 pandemic has governments around the world warning their citizens about — and often even banning — large scale public gatherings like movie screenings.
The Fast and Furious franchise has tons of dedicated fans who would not want to miss the chance to see the movie on the big screen even if it meant putting their own health at risk. To protect them and the profits it would lose from people who sensibly avoided the cinema, Universal decided to push the release date to a time when (hopefully) going to the movies isn’t such a risky proposition.
The studio made the announcement in an open letter to fans of the franchise.
To our family of Fast fans everywhere,
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.
Your Fast Family
F9 joins other blockbusters whose release dates have been moved. No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s final turn as 007, pushed its release from April 10 to November. A Quiet Place 2, which was supposed to come out this month, was delayed indefinitely.
One movie that isn’t being delayed is Bloodshot, the adaptation of the Valiant Comics series starring F9 star Vin Diesel. In an interview with Collider, he mentioned that box office receipts aren’t his priority
“If you were just solely thinking about box office you wouldn’t release Bloodshot right now in this storm,” he said. The F9 delay suggests that box office is the major concern for its producers, and it’s hard to imagine otherwise.
But even though we’ll have to wait an extra year to feast our eyes on F9, Diesel suggests that the delay won’t stop fans from loving the new film.
“As an artist, the more experienced I get, the more I’m appreciating just the fact that my work somehow finds you and that you get to experience at your own time and at your own space.”
Translation: When you see the movie might be changing, but it will still somehow find its way into your life.
F9 is now coming to theaters in North America on April 2, 2021.