Universal and Amblin Entertainment have announced that, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the release of the highly anticipated Jurassic World: Dominion film has been delayed by a year.
The blockbuster movie (the third and final instalment in the lucrative Jurassic World franchise) was initially scheduled to be released on 11 June 2021, but will instead come to cinemas in 2022.
It's the latest major film release to be affected by the pandemic, and the delay comes hot on the heels of news that the next James Bond film has received a similar lengthy delay from November to spring 2021.
Why has the film been delayed?
Jurassic World: Dominion's schedule was impacted by the pandemic.
Although it was one of the first projects to resume shooting when production restarted in late summer, strict social distancing measures have made the process slower than usual.
It is estimated that Dominion (which is shooting in the UK) is approximately three weeks from finishing up the principal photography stage of production.
There have even been some positive coronavirus cases registered among crew members in remote locations, though production has soldiered on.
But, while Universal would likely be able to get the film completed and out of the door in time for next June, other factors impacted by the uncertainty of Covid-19's direction are at play.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, studio insiders say Dominion is a huge priority for the studio, with theme park tie-ins, merchandising partnerships, live events and more.
All of those have been hit hard by coronavirus, and Universal and Amblin want to ensure that deadlines for their retail partners can be met.
What is Jurassic World: Dominion about?
Universal has not shared plot details for Jurassic World: Dominion, but the narrative arc of the franchise is in a very interesting place, following the events of the previous film in the series, Fallen Kingdom.
Isla Nublar, the site of the original theme park was destroyed by a volcano, and dozens of dinosaurs were set free in northern California, seemingly to repopulate the world.
“The island’s blown up, the animals are out, we can’t put them back in the box, what are we gonna do?” Said Chris Pratt in an interview with MTV News.
“How are, not only these dinosaurs, but this technology moving forward going to affect the planet?"
Who's directing it?
Jurassic World: Dominion sees director Colin Trevorrow return to the series after he directed 2015’s Jurassic World to a $1.67 billion worldwide gross, the sixth highest grossing film in cinema history.
Trevorrow is joined on writing duties by Pacific Rim: Uprising screenwriter Emily Carmichael.
The director previously told Entertainment Weekly that the new movie will be a “science thriller.”
“If I could contextualise each film, I would say Jurassic World was an action adventure, Fallen Kingdom is kind of a horror suspense film, and Jurassic World 3 will be a science thriller in the same way that Jurassic Park was,” he said.
Who stars in it?
Trevorrow will once again be directing stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, with Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum reprising their roles as Dr Ellie Sattler, Dr Alan Grant and Dr Ian Malcolm.
The film also stars Mamoudou Athie, Scott Haze, Dichen Lachman, Daniella Pineda, Campbell Scott, Isabella Sermon, Justice Smith, Omar Sy, DeWanda Wise and BD Wong.
When can I see it?
Jurassic World: Dominion will be released in cinemas on 10 June 2022.
How is Covid-19 affecting cinemas?
The UK’s biggest cinema chain, Cineworld, announced recently that it will close the doors on all 128 of its sites after two blockbuster Hollywood movies were delayed.
The announcement came as the release of the latest James Bond film was further delayed from November to spring 2021. No Time To Die was originally scheduled for release in April 2020, but was first pushed back to November as a result of the pandemic.
On 2 October, the release of the highly-anticipated Fast and Furious sequel F9 was also delayed, while Disney announced last month that its live-action version of Mulan would instead debut on its streaming service Disney+, instead of receiving a theatrical release.
Cineworld bosses will write to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to tell them that cinema has become “unviable” as studios keep putting back blockbuster releases.
The closure of the company’s 128 sites across the country, although understood to be a temporary measure until next year, will put up to 5,500 jobs at risk.