Top Gun: Maverick Thrusts to 2021

Top Gun: Maverick has, once again, veered away from its primary objective of a release date. The reason remains the same: the escalation of COVID-19 cases, which have kept theaters shuttered for several months, with no sign of relenting.

Paramount has thusly shifted the release date of Top Gun: Maverick to July 1, 2021—nearly a year from now. Indeed, this marks the latest lengthy setback for the nostalgia-laden Tom Cruise blockbuster sequel, specifically the second six-month release date shift for the film, which was rescheduled a few months ago to land for a Christmas season premiere of December 23, 2020 after having been set for June 26, 2020.

As Paramount president of domestic distribution Chris Aronson said in a statement, “We truly believe that there is no movie-viewing experience like the one enjoyed in theaters.” To which Aronson’s international colleague, Mark Viane, adds, “We are committed to the theatrical experience and our exhibition partners, and want to stress that we are confident that, when the time comes, audiences everywhere will once again enjoy the singular joy of seeing Paramount films on the big screen.”

Pertinently, the studio also opted to move sleeper horror hit sequel A Quiet Place Part II from Sept. 4, 2020 to April 23, 2021. It’s just the latest in an example of (virtual) Comic-Con-era industry codification, with release date shifts coming in at a rapid pace for film such as Spider-Man 3 (now set for Nov. 2021), Disney’s mystery Star Wars film trilogy (Dec. 2023, 2025 and 2027, respectively), director James Cameron’s four Avatar sequels (Dec. 2022, 2024 and 2026, and 2028, respectively,) and even an indefinite delays for Disney’s live-action Mulan,  for director Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.

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