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Missing movies? Here are some of the big summer films that were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic

As drive-in theaters are thriving across the United States, major cineplexes are announcing reopening delays yet again, prompting the moviegoing faithful in the United States to wonder when — and if — they’ll be able to see their beloved summer blockbusters at theaters this year.

FOX 5 DC Entertainment Reporter Kevin McCarthy and FOX TV Stations’ Justin Sedgwick discuss some of the major, highly-anticipated movies film buffs were yearning to see this summer prior to the pandemic closing cinemas’ doors. 

RELATED: A New California: What’s in store for the movie theater industry

Keep in mind that the release dates for these films are expected. Just as the initial release dates were delayed, it is possible that the movies may be pushed back again in the future, depending on the COVID-19 situation at the time of their expected release. 

Tenet

Christopher Nolan's international espionage thriller, "Tenet," was prepared to blow everyone's minds in IMAX on July 17 but has now been delayed three times, with the third delay being the dreaded "indefinite" delay. 

Nolan has long been an advocate of the theatrical experience and the hope was that his film, "Tenet", would be the movie to bring audiences back to cinemas. As someone who saw "Dunkirk" six times in 70mm IMAX/Laser IMAX, my hope is to see "Tenet" on the biggest screen possible when it is safe.

 I don't believe "Tenet" will move to a VOD service prior to the theatrical run and if that means we have to wait until 2021, that's what I believe Warner Brothers Pictures and Christopher Nolan will do. 

Now, with the indefinite release date, fans are left waiting for any news surrounding the major film's release. Could the film open internationally prior to the U.S.? There are other markets where the coronavirus has not hit as hard and some markets are ready to open back up. That's the current question and debate now with the theatrical release of "Tenet." -KM

A Quiet Place Part II

There were a few reasons why some Hollywood insiders were stunned when "A Quiet Place" became one of 2018's biggest blockbusters. The sci-fi horror flick only had a $17 million budget and was being helmed by John Krasinski, then primarily known for his slightly sardonic Jim Halpert of "The Office."

RELATED: ‘The Office’ cast reunites to recreate ‘wedding dance’ for Maryland couple’s virtual nuptials

But with over $340 million in earnings from the global box office and a solid 96% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, "A Quiet Place" garnered a well-deserved reputation as one of Hollywood's latest and best sci-fi horror fares. "A Quiet Place Part II," which picks up after where the alien invaders left off in the first, was moved from its initial March 20 domestic release date to Sept. 4. -JS

F9

What first started as a gritty depiction of the Los Angeles street race scene in "The Fast and the Furious" has evolved into one of the most profitable action adventure franchises in film, where fast cars are just part of the furious fun. The last film, "The Fate of the Furious," earned over $1 billion at the box office.

Now on its ninth installment, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and crew were slated to return to the big screen on May 22. Instead, their cars will sit idle until a scheduled release for April 2, 2021. -JS

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

The "Ghostbusters" franchise had been revived once already with a 2016 reboot helmed by Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. The latest spooky endeavor, though, is a direct sequel to the Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson romps of the 1980s. 

"Ghostbusters: Afterlife" was initially slated for a July 10 release date, but is now scheduled to hit theaters on March 5, 2021.

For those who may be skeptical of whether a new “Ghostbusters” sequel can churn out as many ghoulish giggles as the original two films, they may be relieved to learn that the new “busters” has called in a lot of street cred from the original flicks, in addition to its newer casting of Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard (“Stranger Things”), and McKenna Grace (“Gifted”). 

The film was directed by “Juno’s” Jason Reitman, who is also the son of Ivan Reitman, the maestro behind the first two flicks. Murray, Aykroyd, Hudson and Sigourney Weaver are all reprising their original characters (Ramis, who played Egon Spengler, died in 2014.) -JS

Top Gun: Maverick

It’s been nearly 35 years since Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer lit up the sky in Tony Scott’s seminal blockbuster. Cruise and Kilmer are reprising their roles as Maverick and Iceman — two ace Navy pilots who had more than one score to settle in 1986. 

“Top Gun: Maverick” was supposed to be released on June 24, but is now scheduled to arrive in theaters on Dec. 23 this year. 

The first “Top Gun” was far from a critical darling — it holds a 56% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But its depiction of fast-flying jets and beach volleyball, as well as its inclusion of a breathtaking anthem from Berlin, made it a pop culture mainstay for that decade. This time, Cruise and Kilmer are being joined by the likes of Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Miles Teller, and Ed Harris, according to IMDb. -JS

Wonder Woman 1984

The delayed film I feel more frustrated about is about is Patty Jenkins' "Wonder Woman 1984."

The film was originally slated for a December 2019 release date. Prior to the pandemic, that date was shifted to June 5, 2020 which put the film right in the middle of the global pandemic clearly delaying the film even more to August. 

That delay grew more as the current release date for the film is now slated for October 2. 

If the film had stuck to the original release date of December 2019, it obviously would have avoided the pandemic theater shutdowns and would already be in our homes at this point. -KM 

No Time to Die

It’s been nearly 15 years since Daniel Craig first sipped his shaken martini as James Bond. Actually, that’s not entirely true — Craig’s Bond rebutted in “Casino Royale” with “do I look like I give a damn?” after questioned if he wanted his cocktail stirred or shaken. Little moments like that signaled to audiences that Craig’s Bond would be a bit grittier and against the grain than his more composed secret agent counterparts of yesteryear.

For the most part, that abrasion was welcomed by moviegoers and critics alike, with “Casino Royale” and “Skyfall” earning above 90% fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. 

First slated to be released last year in November, Bond fans were disappointed “No Time to Die” was postponed to April, but is now expected to be released on Nov. 20 this year. -JS

Soul

From the studio that’s guaranteed to make you cry at least once before the credits, Pixar’s latest CGI follows Joe (Jamie Foxx) with a passion for jazz who has something of an “out-of-soul” experience, having to find his way back to Earth with the help of 22 (Tina Fey).

Pixar proved in 2015 that it could  tackle complex neurological concepts in “Inside Out,” effectively illustrating the inner emotions of a young girl with the help of some colorful A-list voiceovers, and could handle more heavy topics about the afterlife and one’s legacy in 2017’s “Coco.” 

Naturally, fans were excited to see what metaphysical and spiritual amazements the studio would concoct with “Soul” on its June 19 release, but they’ll have to wait for its expected Nov. 20 outing. -JS

Black Widow

For those fully caught up with the current state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you may be confused as to why a movie is being made about Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow. This movie actually takes place in between the events depicted in “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Johansson’s Romanoff proved early on in the Avengers saga that she was a force to be reckoned with, despite her lack of magical hammers, scientific super serum, gamma ray-induced rage, or billions of dollars in hi-tech weaponry at her disposal. 

Fans who were eager to dive deeper into the legacy of the whip-smart but reserved Romanoff in early May now have to wait for its new expected release of Nov. 6. -JS

Mulan

Disney's "Mulan" is a very interesting film to look at as I start wondering if it will move to Disney+. The platform received a major jump in subscriptions due to the "Hamilton" film and this might be a time to capitalize. 

"Mulan" (2020) is the live action remake of the classic Disney animated feature. The film was originally slated for a May 2019 release date. 

After many films started to be delayed, "Mulan", "Black Widow" and films like "Tenet" stood their ground for a while in the hopes that theaters would reopen. 

"Mulan" was moved to July 24 to follow the original "Tenet" release date, then delayed again until Aug. 21, and now has been delayed indefinitely. -KM

In the Heights

Before he was the guy who rapped about American history leading up to President Obama, sold out show after show of “Hamilton” on Broadway and helped spark more than 750,000 downloads of Disney+ the same weekend a “Hamilton” film landed on the platform, Lin-Manuel Miranda was better known as the creator of “In The Heights,” a Broadway musical focusing on Latino characters in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood.

Miranda penned the play during his sophomore year at Wesleyan University. While it didn’t take the world by storm as much as Hamilton did in 2015, “In The Heights” was still lauded by theater critics, picking up Tony wins for Best Musical, Best Orchestrations, Best Choreography and Best Original Score. 

This filmed version stars Anthony Ramos (“A Star is Born” and “Hamilton”) and has been pushed from its June 26, 2020 release to June 18, 2021. *-JS*

Jungle Cruise

It feels like it was prehistoric picture times when people were skeptical on just how Disney planned to adapt its iconic “Pirates of the Carribean” ride into a full-length feature. Multiple blockbusters later, “Pirates” is a decades-spanning franchise — with some of the seafaring flicks receiving higher critical acclaim than others.

“Jungle Cruise,” another Disney flick inspired by a beloved ride, was supposed to include Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt dodging wild animals and battling foes amidst the lush jungle fauna. 

Whether “Jungle Cruise” is poised to become the next “Pirates” remains to be seen, as the film has been delayed from its July 24 release date to July 30, 2021. -JS

Morbius

Jared Leto takes his turn as a comic book anti-hero in this upcoming Sony flick. Leto stars as Dr. Michael Morbius, a brilliant biochemist who, when trying to cure a crippling rare blood affliction, finds himself with supernatural vampire powers.

The movie has some close ties to the new “Spider-Man” films, with a rumored appearance from J.K. Simmons as his beloved J. Jonah Jameson, and hints of Michael Keaton reprising his role as Vulture from “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Morbius has been moved from its July 31 release date to March 19 of next year. -JS

Free Guy

Have you ever played one of the "Grand Theft Auto" games and wondered what those innocent virtual characters actually do with their free time when they aren't surrounded by destruction and mayhem? This movie kind of serves as an answer to that question.

Ryan Reynolds depicts Guy, a non-playable character in a hyper-violent video game who becomes aware of his virtual existence and strives to save his game. Strutting by Reynolds' virtual side are Jodie Komer ("Killing Eve"), Joe Keery ("Stranger Things") and Taika Waititi ("Thor Ragnorok"). Initially slated for July 3, "Free Guy" has been pushed to a scheduled Dec. 11 release. -JS