The release of Fast & Furious 9 has been delayed one year due to the growing spread of the coronavirus, according to Variety. The blockbuster film was originally set to be released at the beginning of the summer, over Memorial Day weekend, on May 22.
Universal Studios, the production company behind the Fast & Furious franchise, announced Thursday that the film would instead be released in April 2021, joining the likes of A Quiet Place Part II and No Time to Die, which have also had their release delayed because of COVID-19.
Fast & Furious 9’s new release date was intended for the 10th installment of the series, which will now inevitably be delayed, too, according to Forbes.
According to Variety, Fast & Furious 9 star Vin Diesel took to social media to explain the decision: “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. 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.”
Concerns over the coronavirus are mounting globally, and will likely take a huge hit on production companies that opt to postpone blockbuster releases, sacrificing marketing revenue. The film industry in China has been feeling the impact of the coronavirus quite acutely since January, and Hollywood seems to be the next entertainment industry to be hit. Film festivals, like Austin’s SXSW, have been canceled, film production has slowed, and many movie theaters internationally have decided to temporarily close.
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