We got some hand in hand release date shifts on our hands today. Universal’s ‘Fast & Furious 9’ will now release May 22, 2020, instead of April 10, 2020. United Artists Releasing’s ‘Bond 25’ also got a push from February 14, 2020 to April 8, 2020.
Justin Lin is returning to the director’s chair for the ninth installment of the mainline ‘Fast & Furious’ films. It will be the tenth film overall, as the true ninth film is ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,’ releasing August 2, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. However, this is the second push in release for the film, originally set for April 19, 2019. That decision was made to accommodate the Rock and Stath spin-off. But, we can only hope that the Memorial Day weekend will be the right choice for the almost 20-year-old franchise.
Additionally, Lin was at the helm for four different ‘Fast’ movies, the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth films. Now, he will take on both nine and ten, wrapping up the flagship side of the franchise. Then, the doors will be open for more spin-offs, including the female-led film, which is in development by Nicole Perlman, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, and Lindsey Beer. ‘Fast & Furious 10′ is still dated for April 2, 2021.
“Fast & Furious 9’ will now compete against Warner Bros, crossover event ‘Godzilla vs. Kong,’ and Paramount’s ‘The SpongeBob Movie: It’s a Wonderful Sponge.’ This will truly be a weekend to save up your money for!
Meanwhile, now with the weekend open, Universal took the opportunity to have ‘Bond 25’ take over the now-vacated April weekend. While United Artists Releasing (MGM and Annapurna) are handling distribution in the states, Universal will be doing international. Therefore, this was a calculated maneuver, and not mere coincidence.
Director Cary Joji Fukunaga (‘True Detective,’ ‘Maniac’) will be helming Daniel Craig’s last outing as the titular character. Danny Boyle was originally going to direct the film, but creative differences drove him away from the project. Thus, Neal Purvis & Robert Wade are back to finish what they started all the way back in ‘Casino Royale.’ Along with that film, they did all of Craig’s other ‘Bond’ movies: ‘Quantum of Solace,’ ‘Skyfall,’ and ‘Spectre.’ Returning cast members include Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux, Naomie Harris, and Ben Whishaw.
‘Bond 25’ has the Easter weekend all to itself now, while Valentine’s Day weekend now has Blue Sky and 20th Century Fox’s ‘Nimona,’ Universal’s untitled romance film from Will Packer, and Disney’s untitled live action movie.
Further, the ‘Bond 25’ release shift was formally given an announcement on Twitter:
The release date for Bond 25 has changed. Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli: “We are absolutely thrilled to be releasing Bond 25 on 8 April 2020." pic.twitter.com/YQMRoVoTei
— James Bond (@007) February 15, 2019
It remains to be seen why either film made their shift, but the assumption is for box office reasons. That doesn’t quite rule out the possibility that there could be behind-the-scenes shenanigans in pre-production, but we’ll just have to wait, see, and hope for the best!