Warner Bros. has delayed Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s In the Heights movie a full year. The feature adaptation of the hit Broadway musical was supposed to dance its way into theaters on June 26, but it will now arrive on June 18, 2021.
Warner Bros. had already decided to move Wonder Woman 1984 from early June to late August in an effort to buy some time and salvage what’s left of the summer blockbuster season, which been all but cancelled by Hollywood’s major studios. One mega-movie that refuses to budge, however, is Christopher Nolan‘s Tenet, due on July 17.
As of now, Warner Bros. remains committed to releasing the epic action movie this summer, and no one believes in movie theaters more than Nolan, but the way things are going regarding the coronavirus pandemic, I don’t see how a major theatrical release would be feasible this summer. Even if theaters do reopen by July, will audiences be receptive, or will they be reluctant to return to group settings?
I don’t know why Warner Bros. would release Tenet in half-filled theaters, especially when it’d be hard to properly advertise the film in theaters in the preceding months. It’d be one thing to release a mid-budget movie like In the Heights hoping to gauge audiences’ appetites, but Warners can’t afford to release Tenet and leave hundreds of millions of dollars on the table. As much as we’d all love to return to theaters, safety is of the utmost importance, both to ticket buyers and theater staff.
In the Heights will now open against an untitled Pixar movie, and it’ll be forced to compete with the second weekend of Jurassic World: Dominion. And that’s the other issue with coronavirus wreaking havoc on Hollywood’s release schedule. All these big movies are competing for limited real estate, and if they all come out on top of each other later this year or next summer, some surefire hits are bound to underperform.
In the Heights wrapped production a while ago, but had yet to finish post-production, so it would’ve been difficult to make its original release date with everyone working from home. Jon M. Chu directed the movie, which stars Hamilton alum Anthony Ramos as Usnavi, a bodega owner in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. Corey Hawkins and Jimmy Smits co-star alongside Melissa Barrera, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Stephanie Beatriz. Miranda also has a small role in the film — the latest Warner Bros. title to see its release date changed this week following The Batman, Shazam 2 and The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark.
Warner Bros. isn’t the only studio optimistic about the second half of summer, as Disney will release Mulan one week after Tenet.