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Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic drastically altered the 2020 theatrical schedule, it’s also impacted movies that were in the midst of production. Take the Warner Bros features The Batman and The Matrix 4. While it was initially reported that both movies would continue ahead with filming as the coronavirus, eventually the studio decided to press the pause button on them, and now there’s a question of if this could result in their theatrical releases being delayed.
To recap, The Batman had completed seven weeks of filming in London, and though it was originally announced that production would be stopping for two weeks, director and co-writer Matt Reeves said earlier this week that the shutdown will last longer than that. The Matrix 4, which began principal photography at the start of February, had finished work in San Francisco and was gearing up to begin production in Berlin, but now, as with The Batman, it’s unclear when work on the highly-anticipated sequel will resume.
So what does this mean for The Batman and The Matrix 4 hitting theaters? Officially speaking, both movies still have their original release dates, with The Matrix 4 arriving on May 21, 2021, and The Batman following on June 25, 2021. However, as noted by Variety, while there’s an “outside chance” that these movies could still come out on those dates, it’s “more likely” that they’ll be pushed back.
The problem is that there’s no clear indication when this coronavirus craziness will calm down, thus allowing the cast and crews of all these in-production movies to resume their work. Plus, it’s not like getting things up and running again will be an easy process, which will tack on even more time to the overall creative process.
So even though for now, nothing’s changed with The Batman and The Matrix 4’s release plans, prepare for the possibility that in the coming weeks or months, Warner Bros announces that it will delay both movies. The same could hold true for King Richard and Fantastic Beasts 3, which were also in the midst of production before having to shut down.
The Batman marks a new cinematic era for the Caped Crusader, with Robert Pattinson inheriting the Dark Knight’s mantle in a story that, while no specific plot details have been revealed, will have a noir-tone and highlight Bruce Wayne’s detective skills. Pattinson is joined by Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as Riddler, Colin Farrell as Penguin, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, Peter Sarsgaard as Gil Colson and Jayme Lawson as Bella Reál, as well as Gil Perez-Abraham, Charlie Carver and Max Carver being cast in undisclosed roles.
The Matrix 4 is being even more secretive with its plot details, and aside from Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith and Lambert Wilson all reprising their respective roles from the original Matrix trilogy, none of the movie’s characters have been identified. The lineup of new faces includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere, Eréndira Ibarra, Priyanka Chopra, Andrew Caldwell, Brian J. Smith and Ellen Hollman
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on The Batman and The Matrix 4, and in the meantime, browse through our comprehensive guide detailing the other movies that have been thrown for a loop by the COVID-19 pandemic.