There are quite a few big, ongoing movie franchises skipping 2019. The next 12 months will be an embarrassment of riches for movie fans, but there will still be some major properties that will be holding out to release instead in 2020 or after.
In 2019, Marvel Studios will again drop three huge films: Captain Marvel in March, Avengers: Endgame in April, and Spider-Man: Far From Home in July. Not to be outdone, DC Films will follow up the global success of Aquaman with Shazam! in April and Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker in October. Then, 20th Century Fox's version of the X-Men will make their last stand with Dark Phoenix in June and will also finally release the long-delayed New Mutants in August. Meanwhile, Disney will basically release a blockbuster every month in 2019, with Dumbo in March, Aladdin in May, Toy Story 4 in June, The Lion King in July, and Frozen 2 in November being the biggest. And who could forget that 2019 concludes with the end of the Skywalker saga in Star Wars: Episode IX in December?
With all of that firepower (and more) coming to local cinemas this year, it's inevitable that some blockbuster franchises would steer clear of 2019. In some cases, plans to release a franchise film were changed due to creative or other reasons. For others, the year is simply an off year since they just released a new movie in 2018. There are also franchises that seem to be mired in creative limbo until further notice. All that said, here are the biggest franchises skipping 2019 altogether.
- This Page: Franchises That Moved Their Release Dates To 2020
- Page 2: Franchises Releasing In 2020 Or Later
Wonder Woman 1984
Fans excited to see the return of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman were disappointed to hear that Wonder Woman 1984 pushed back its release date to June 5, 2020. Originally scheduled for November 1, 2019, director Patty Jenkins' follow up to her record-breaking film moved back 7 months to "its rightful home" (according to Gadot on Twitter) in the summer. The original Wonder Woman released in June 2017 and rode a wave of critical acclaim to become a pop culture touchstone en route to an $821 million worldwide haul. DC Films hopes to repeat that magic with a similar summer release strategy.
There's plenty to be excited about in Wonder Woman 1984. Set during the Me Decade, the sequel is expected to thrust Diana Prince into the era of the Cold War as she tangles with a new enemy: the Cheetah (Kristen Wiig). There's also the mystery of how Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is somehow back from the dead after his demise during World War I. What's more, Wonder Woman 1984 will find itself in an interesting position of trying to eclipse Aquaman, which is rapidly on its way to becoming the DCEU's biggest film ever and could earn a billion dollars worldwide. Also, Wonder Woman 1984 will release in a new and different DCEU landscape after Aquaman, Shazam!, Joker, and the Margot Robbie-led Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) all release 6 months or less apart from each other. But if anyone can outperform her fellow DC superheroes, it's Wonder Woman.
James Bond was supposed to go head-to-head with Wonder Woman in November 2019 but the dashing spy followed the Amazing Amazon to 2020 instead. The behind-the-scenes happenings of James Bond 25 have been as tumultuous as agent 007's battles with Spectre. Original director Danny Boyle signed on to direct Bond 25 back in March 2018, but, by August, Boyle bolted over creative differences with producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson's dismay with writer John Hodge's screenplay. Perennial Bond writers Neil Purvis and Robert Wade returned to script Bond 25 and, finally, True Detective's Cary Fukunaga signed on to direct. With filming set to begin in March 2019, the yet-untitled Bond 25 is now set to release on February 14, 2020.
Following up the events of Spectre, Bond 25 is expected to be Daniel Craig's final outing as 007, which, after 14 years, would make him the longest-tenured actor to portray James Bond. While the plot of the film is being kept under wraps, Christoph Waltz won't reprise his role as Blofeld, the leader of Spectre. However, Lea Seydoux will return as Dr. Madeleine Swann, who rode off into the sunset with Bond at the end of Spectre - this is a rare instance of a Bond Girl returning for back-to-back films. James Bond should also have his usual support system, including Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomi Harris as Eve Moneypenny, and Ben Whishaw as Q, to give him solace even if Madeleine Swann doesn't survive Craig's swansong as 007.
Page 2 of 2: Movie Franchises Releasing In 2020 Or Later
Fantastic Beasts 3
Because Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald just released in November 2018, the Harry Potter/Wizarding World franchise is taking 2019 off. Fantastic Beasts 2 was met with critical derision and fan disappointment due to writer J.K. Rowling's controversial creative choices (though Crimes of Grindelwald certainly has its supporters as well). However, Fantastic Beasts 2 has become the lowest-grossing film in Harry Potter franchise history, earning $628-million worldwide against a $200-million budget - certainly profitable enough to continue the planned five-film franchise although its box office magic may be waning a bit.
Nonetheless, filming for the third film is expected to begin in summer 2019 and Fantastic Beasts 3 should release in November 2020, following the same strategy as the previous films. Director David Yates, who has helmed every Wizarding World film since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 2007, will likely direct once more, and Rowling will again write the script. Fantastic Beasts 3 will be set in a new city and Rowling promises it will answer fans' questions about Grindelwald's (Johnny Depp) continuing rise to power and the aftermath of Crimes of Grindelwald's big twist concerning the true identity of Credence (Ezra Miller). Meanwhile, the two-year break should give fans ample time to get excited to return to the Wizarding World once again.
Bumblebee released in December 2018 and was a welcome breath of fresh air for the Transformers franchise. The best-reviewed Transformers movie by far, Bee's solo film, which stars Academy Award-nominee Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena, is 93% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and has been hailed for restoring the humor and heart that has been long absent from when Michael Bay controlled the Transformers franchise. However, Bumblebee is also on track to be the lowest-grossing live-action Transformers movie worldwide, though it has performed steadily (but not spectacularly against stiff Christmas competition like Aquaman and Mary Poppins Returns) since its release.
Since Bumblebee is still playing, the Transformers franchise won't roll into theaters in 2019. Bumblebee's box office performance also creates doubt as to what the future of the Transformers franchise will entail. Potential options include a possible sequel set on Cybertron, an Optimus Prime solo film, a full-fledged Transformers 6, and possibly even a Hasbro franchise crossover with a rebooted G.I. Joe and M.A.S.K. Thus far, Hasbro has made no announcements as to what's next for the robots in disguise so fans should spend 2019 enjoying Bumblebee on home video until the future of the Transformers franchise is decided.
There definitely won't be a new Star Trek movie in 2019. The crew of the Starship Enterprise last flew on the big screen in 2016's Star Trek Beyond, which, despite positive reviews, ultimately became the lowest-grossing of the J.J. Abrams-produced Star Trek movies. Since then, efforts to unite Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, and the rest of the crew have hit major snags. In August 2018, negotiations between Paramount, Chris Pine, and Chris Hemsworth fell through over money. The plan for Star Trek 4 was to have a time travel adventure where Pine's Captain James T. Kirk meet his father George, played by Hemsworth, who died at the start of 2009's Star Trek. Since then, there hasn't been any further movement on Star Trek 4, though Karl Urban, who plays Bones McCoy, indicated he was confident it will eventually happen.
There's also the prospect of Quentin Tarantino writing and directing his own Star Trek movie; however, the acclaimed director is busy finishing Once Upon a Time in Hollywood this year. Despite some believing that Star Trek 4 can work without Captain Kirk, until a breakthrough occurs and Pine returns to the captain's chair, it's unlikely the U.S.S. Enterprise will leave dry-dock until 2020 at the soonest. However, even without a new movie on the horizon, Star Trek fans can take solace in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery in January 2019 and a new series about Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard arriving later this year as well.