Tom Cruise fans will have to wait a while longer to see his post-pandemic big screen return, after two of his highly-anticipated blockbuster sequels were pushed back again due to a surge of COVID-19.
Top Gun sequel Maverick and the latest Mission: Impossible film, which is currently shooting in the UK, have both seen their release dates pushed back, as the US grapples with the Delta variant.
Paramount, the studio behind the films, said that Top Gun: Maverick – originally due last year – will hit screens in May 2022 rather than November this year.
Mission: Impossible was due to be released in May 2022, but will now not get its premiere until next September.
The filming of the seventh Ethan Hunt film has been delayed several times after COVID outbreaks, with Cruise determined to carry on shooting throughout the pandemic.
He’s recently been spotted filming in Birmingham.
The next film in the Jackass franchise, Jackass Forever, has also been delayed, and instead of releasing next month, will now welcome audiences next February.
It comes amid a surge in the US of the more transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19, which studios worry could keep some filmgoers away from cinemas.
The country is going through a third wave of infection, with 160,041 cases recorded on Tuesday alone.
However, cinema release slates from other major studios continue apace, with a new trailer for No Time To Die this week reaffirming that Daniel Craig‘s last outing as James Bond will finally debut in just a few weeks.
Also on the way soon are The French Dispatch and Marvel’s Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings.
Many studios are using a hybrid approach to film releases, screening them on streaming services and in cinemas at the same time.
Disney is currently facing criticism from Marvel star Scarlett Johansson, after Black Widow was made available on Disney+ on the same day of its cinema release.
She claims that because of that, she may have lost out in millions of dollars in earnings.
Cruise has been among those to endorse the big screen experience since the pandemic began.
Last summer, he filmed himself enjoying Christopher Nolan’s Tenet at a cinema in London, adorned with a mask and encouraging fans to get back to the big screen.