I feel the need… the need for… slowing down things.

That’s not how the expression is supposed to go, but these are not ordinary times. Variety reports that yet another big summer blockbuster is no longer a big summer blockbuster, with Top Gun: Maverick the latest film whose release is now postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Originally scheduled to open in theaters on June 24, the film will now be released on December 23, 2020. Which should make the Christmas moviegoing season a bit more fun — assuming there is a Christmas moviegoing season this year.

Maverick has been in development for years and years. The original Top Gun came out in 1986, and rumors of sequel have persisted for decades. In the interim, the original film’s director, Tony Scott, passed away; he was eventually replaced by Joseph Kosinski, the filmmaker behind star Tom Cruise’s sci-fi film Oblivion. When the project finally came together, it flew right into the midst of a global pandemic.

At this point, the fact that Top Gun: Maverick moved to Christmas and not the summer of 2021 is almost cause for hope and optimism. Much of the film’s originally scheduled competition have been pushed back much further into the future. Earlier this week Ghostbusters: Afterlife moved from this summer to next March; yesterday, we learned that Minions: The Rise of Gru would open for July 4, 2021 instead of Independence Day in 2020. We’ve waited a long time for more Top Gun, so a few more months in the grand scheme of things is nothing. Let’s just hope movie theaters are up and running (and thriving) by Christmastime.

UPDATE: Tom Cruise posted this comment on the Top Gun delay.

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