Sony Delays Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, Kraven the Hunter, and More Due to Ongoing Writers’ and Actors’ Strike in Hollywood

Sony Pictures is shaking up its release calendar amidst the ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes, delaying a slew of major releases. Upcoming and confirmed Marvel projects have been pushed to 2024 and beyond, with Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse being completely taken off its planned March 29, 2024 date. Kraven the Hunter, which was eyeing a release on October 6, has been relocated by almost a year, slated for August next year. As per Deadline, Sony Pictures was planning a world tour for its latest Spider-Man universe spin-off, and for that, lead Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s presence is mandatory.

It goes without saying that the delay of Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse is the biggest blow to the studio, considering how well its predecessor fared, earning $682.4 million (about Rs. 5,615 crore) at the global box office. With the strikes in full motion, the actors will be unable to provide any voiceovers, while the script cannot be retouched in any shape or form. Another live-action spin-off Venom 3, which was scheduled to start ‘very, very soon’ — as per actress Juno Temple — is now slated to release on July 12, 2024. Meanwhile, the Dakota Johnson-led Madame Web has moved up by two days, going from February 16, 2024 to Valentine’s Day.

The most immediate Sony release to be affected, however, is the Gran Turismo movie, which was previously set to drop August 10 in theatres. The PlayStation video game adaptation starring Archie Madekwe (Midsommar) and David Harbour (Stranger Things) has now been postponed by two weeks, eyeing a release on August 25. “The stars can’t promote the film, but the audience can,” a Sony spokesperson told Deadline, also taking into account that its trailer will be playing in movie theatres in the upcoming weeks.

For the uninitiated, this marks the first time since 1960 that both writers and actors have gone on strike, voicing concerns about appropriate payments for their work. Streaming platforms have made it so that the artists only receive a flat rate of pay, instead of residuals based on reruns. There’s also the debate of major production companies wanting to make use of AI in filmmaking, which would severely affect jobs in the industry.

Then there’s the sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife from returning director Gil Kenan, which has finished preliminary shooting rounds but still needs its actors for some post-production work. Not to mention, the actors won’t be allowed to do any promotional work or interviews for the film, as it’s a violation of SAG-AFTRA’s (the actors’ union in the US) rules. Instead of opening on December 20 this year, the film has been knocked down to March 29, 2024, in direct competition with Bong Joon-ho’s Mickey 17, starring Robert Pattinson. Elsewhere, Bad Boys 4, which reunites the comedic duo of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, recently finished shooting and will release on June 14, 2024, going up against Disney’s Inside Out sequel.

Sony Pictures has also moved its upcoming Karate Kid film from June 7 to December 13, 2024. No filmmaker nor cast was announced for the same and now, with the ongoing strike, filming has been completely halted. There was also a new Blumhouse film called They Listen scheduled for August 30, 2024, which now does not have a concrete date.

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