The worldwide pandemic continues to wreak havoc with the theatrical release schedule. Films such as Wonder Woman 1984 have seen their release dates moved multiple times this year to allow for more time to get the pandemic under control. Many had hoped that Tenet's release would signal a return to theaters, but cinemas are still being seen as unsafe in many locations around the world, which has resulted in studios reshuffling their slates once again.
After the announcement earlier today that Dune would be shifting to The Batman's release date, many wondered whether another schedule change was in store for the DC slate, which has now turned out to be true.
Variety is reporting that Warner Bros. has officially announced that four of their DC films have been delayed. The Batman, which was slated to release on October 1, 2021, has been pushed to March 4, 2022. Ezra Miller's The Flash has moved from June 2, 2022 and will now release on November 4, 2022. Shazam 2 is also shifting dates and will now open on June 2, 2023 instead of November 2022. Meanwhile, Black Adam has been completely removed from the release calendar.
WHAT THIS MEANS
This release date push is yet another disappointment for DC fans, but studios are clearly focusing on allowing as much time as possible between releases in the hope that pandemic will be under control around the world soon. Some studios have attempted alternate approaches to a theatrical release, such as Disney+'s premium subscription for Mulan or the straight to video-on-demand release of films like Trolls: World Tour and Artemis Fowl, but the results clearly haven't been strong enough for these films to ensure more streaming releases.
With yet another shuffle in Warner Bros.' film slate, it's a question yet again of whether Wonder Woman 1984 will make its currently scheduled December 25 release date. Wonder Woman 1984 was lucky enough to have been finished with production for some time now, but to be financially viable it will still need a theatrical release. Similarly, James Gunn's The Suicide Squad is currently deep in post-production and is still slated for its August 6, 2021 release date.
On the other hand, films like The Batman have been plagued with production troubles, from the initial worldwide shutdown to lead actor Robert Pattinson testing positive for coronavirus. Films such as The Flash and Shazam 2 haven't even started shooting, so it makes sense for Warner Bros. to allow for extra time in the schedule seeing as there's no official word on when these film can begin production.