Fast and Furious fans will have to wait an entire year before seeing Dominic Toretto’s crew tear up the streets on the big screen again. In a tweet sent out earlier today, Universal Pictures announced that it would be delaying F9 – the ninth Fast and Furious movie – from May 22, 2020 to April 2021.
Here’s the full statement from the studio:
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
While the reason isn’t explicitly noted, F9 was obviously delayed over COVID-19 and its impact on the entertainment industry. China – one of the franchise’s biggest markets – has virtually locked down all of its movie theaters, so releasing the film in May would have likely resulted in financial disaster.
The coronavirus will likely force other major studios to postpone their biggest blockbusters. That actually began earlier this month, when MGM announced that No Time to Die, the 25th James Bond film, would be pushed back from April to November. Delays for Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (from April 3 to August 7) and A Quiet Place Part II (from March 20 to later in 2020) shortly followed.
Expect the same to occur for spring and summer’s biggest releases, which include the likes of Bill & Ted Face the Music, Black Widow, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Tenet, and Wonder Woman 1984.