Sony Pictures is taking steps to move around its upcoming film slate in light of the ongoing labor strikes by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and SAG-AFTRA against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Per The Hollywood Reporter, Sony has made some major moves for its upcoming films, including taking “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse” off its scheduled March 29, 2024 release date. Other major delays include “Spider-Man” spinoff, “Kraven the Hunter.”
Sony Pictures Shifts Release Slates Amid Ongoing Strikes
“Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse” will be the third installment of Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” trilogy, continuing off where the cliffhanger ending of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” leaves off.
The release delay for “Beyond the Spider-Verse” was not surprising even before the strikes were declared. A recent report by Vulture indicated it was highly unlikely that the threequel could make its originally scheduled March 2024 release date. In a June interview with The Hollywood Reporter, star Hailee Steinfeld also revealed she hadn’t even recorded any dialogue yet for the third film.
Meanwhile, the R-Rated “Kraven the Hunter” has been moved from October 6, 2023, to August 30, 2024. THR notes that the change was precipitated by Sony not wanting to release a film with an R-rated without a full marketing and publicity campaign revolving around star Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Sergei Kravinoff, aka Kraven, a longtime Spider-Man villain from the Marvel comics. The film also stars Russell Crowe, Ariana DeBose, and Alessandro Nivola. J. C. Chandor directs the spinoff.
In addition to the delays, Sony Pictures has also chosen new release dates for other major franchise sequels “Bad Boys 4” and “Venom 3.” “Bad Boys 4” had already wrapped principal photography before the WGA declared its strike against the AMPTP in May. The fourquel will hit theaters on June 14, 2024. Meanwhile, “Venom 3,” which already had to halt production due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, has been dated for July 12, 2024.
THR also reports that other studios are still taking a “wait-and-see” approach for their major fall and winter releases while Sony is already re-arranging some upcoming releases. The moves by Sony are likely a sign that there will be major moves and delays for upcoming theatrical blockbusters and tentpoles due to the ongoing strikes, which have still not been resolved.
A significant delay for “Beyond the Spider-Verse” will likely be a huge blow for Sony’s 2024 slate. “Across the Spider-Verse” has been a major hit for the studio. The film has made $377 million domestically and $678 million worldwide and counting. It also earned rave reviews from fans and critics alike. The first film also earned Sony Pictures an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, so it’s highly likely that “Across the Spider-Verse” has a good shot at winning the award as well.
Sony has also opted to shift its upcoming tentpole, “Gran Turismo,” based on the video game franchise. The film was originally going to release on August 11, but with the cast unavailable for a publicity tour, Sony will instead make the film available for sneak previews from August 11-13 and August 18-20. The film will then receive its nationwide theatrical release on August 25. THR reports that Sony is opting for the strategy as an experiment to see if the sneak previews can fuel awareness for the film since the talent aren’t available to promote the release.
The next installment of the “Ghostbusters” franchise, the sequel to 2021’s hit film “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” has seen its release date move from December to March 2024. It was originally supposed to hit theaters on December 20, but it will now release on March 29, 2024, which was the original release date for “Beyond the Spider-Verse.”
Elsewhere, Sony reportedly moved the new “Karate Kid” movie from June 7, 2024, to December 13, 2024. No director or cast has been announced for the film yet, and the project’s development is said to have stalled due to the strike.
Another “Spider-Man” film spinoff, “Madame Web,” has seen its release date moved up two days to Valentine’s Day in February 2024. It was originally scheduled for a February 16, 2024 release. The new franchise spinoff is directed by S.J. Clarkson and stars Dakota Johnson as Madame Web and Sydney Sweeney.
Lastly, THR reports that the Blumhouse Productions film “They Listen” has moved off its August 30, 2024 release date. It does not yet have a new release date yet.