While some titles are appearing in cinemas now, most notably Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, there’s still a lot of caution among studios over putting their productions into theatrical distribution. The ongoing uncertainty over COVID-19 and its impact on release schedules means that premieres and shooting plans are changing regularly, including for the much-anticipated Spider-Man 3 and Venom 2 from Sony.
Spider-Man 3 has already been delayed several times, from July to November, and now to December 17th, 2021. Filming for the sequel has also been pushed back from September to early 2021, meaning that we might not see the film until 2022. In terms of Venom: Let There Be Carnage, a planned opening day of June 25th, 2021, adjusted from October 2020, could similarly be reconsidered, meaning that fans may have even longer to wait.
Sony executive Tony Vinciquerra has recently justified this approach, owing to the significant weight that the Tom Holland-starring Spider-Man 3 and other blockbusters carry for the company, saying:
“What we won’t do is make the mistake of putting a very, very expensive $200 million movie out in the market unless we’re sure that theaters are open and operating at significant capacity.”
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What this means is that we likely won’t get either of the studio’s heavy hitters until things have progressed with reopening the country. And who knows when that’ll be? After all, fears over just going into a theater are still very much present, and the risk of losing a lot of potential box office revenue by jumping to a limited opening is high. Furthermore, Disney don’t seem any closer to be going for a PVOD option for Black Widow or other planned MCU entries, so we’d imagine Sony are similarly protective of their slice of the Marvel universe.
Of course, things are changing all the time with the pandemic, and there could be brighter news in early 2021 if a vaccine is available. For now, though, we unfortunately expect there to be even more delays for Spider-Man 3 and Venom 2 on the horizon, along with a new set of dates for Phase Four 4 of the MCU.