Given the recent surge in coronavirus cases brought on by the delta variant across the country, Paramount is reshuffling the release dates for both “Top Gun: Maverick,” originally set to hit theaters on Nov. 19, 2021, and “Mission Impossible 7,” which was initially going to debut on May 27, 2022, according to Deadline.
The long-awaited follow-up to the classic 1986 fighter pilot flick, which began shooting nearly four years ago, will vacate its prime pre-Thanksgiving weekend slot and now open on May 27, 2022. The seventh installment in Cruise’s other stunt-heavy action franchise has been pushed back until Sept. 7, 2022.
Additionally, Paramount announced that “Jackass: Forever” has been delayed from Oct. 22, 2021, to Feb. 4, 2022.
In the immediate wake of the studio’s shakeup, Sony announced its plans to delay “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” by a week, so that film will now open on Nov. 19, the original release date held by “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Both of the films starring Cruise have been repeatedly pushed back numerous times over the course of the pandemic. Production on “Mission Impossible 7” has been especially troubled as filming was halted seven times due to COVID-19 outbreaks on set.
The delays infamously resulted in Cruise lashing out at his co-workers behind the scenes. In a leaked audio recording from the set, the movie star berated crew members who were allegedly caught violating social distancing protocols. His meltdown elicited surprise praise from many in the industry, but reportedly prompted an exodus among staffers.
“I said what I said,” Cruise told Empire magazine about the outburst. “There was a lot at stake at that point. All those emotions were going through my mind. I was thinking about the people I work with, and my industry. And for the whole crew to know that we’d started rolling on a movie was just a huge relief.”
In addition to previewing new footage from “Mission: Impossible 7,” Paramount screened the first 13 minutes of “Top Gun: Maverick” at CinemaCon in Las Vegas last month along with a brand-new trailer, building upon the already extreme hype surrounding the blockbusters.
Both films are expected to be major earners for Paramount after the previous “Mission Impossible” sequel raked in $791.7 million at the global box office, while the original “Top Gun” grossed $357 million at the time of its release.
Other studios, meanwhile, seem intent on sticking to their current fall release dates, with Daniel Craig’s final bow as James Bond, “No Time To Die,” still slated to hit theaters on Oct. 9. Upcoming superhero fare, including Sony’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” and Marvel’s “Eternals,” will debut on Oct. 15. and Nov. 5, respectively.