The ninth instalment of the Fast and Furious franchise was scheduled to hit theatres on May 22nd, but it has been delayed by nearly a year.
The franchise’s official Twitter account posted a message saying “We all feel 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.”
The message goes on to say the global release has been moved to April 2021 with a US opening scheduled for April 2nd. While the message didn’t mention the coronavirus, it was strongly implied as it said: “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.”
The decision to delay the film isn’t much of a surprise, especially considering the James Bond flick No Time To Die was pushed back to November. However, as Deadline noted, F9 now occupies the date reserved for Fast & Furious 10 and this likely means the entire franchise has been set back a year.
Since Universal was already running ads and doing publicity for F9, the decision to delay the film will undoubtedly be pricey. However, the publication noted China is a “linchpin market” for the franchise so it’s probably in Universal’s best interest.