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Sorry, Tom Cruise Fans — New 'Top Gun' And 'Mission Impossible' Movies Delayed Again

Updated September 2, 2021 at 1:58 PM ET

The Tom Cruise Top Gun character 'Maverick' might "feel the need for speed," but Paramount is once again putting the brakes on the sequel to the 1986 film.

In the high-stakes game of feature film releases, Paramount is gambling that Americans won't be ready to return to cinemas in large numbers any time in the next several months amid surges in the coronavirus delta variant. According to Deadline, it's pushing back the premiere of two potentially blockbuster movies — Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible 7.

The Top Gun sequel, in particular, has been repeatedly buffeted by the pandemic: COVID-19 set it back from a planned December 2020 release to July of this year and then even further to Nov. 19. Now, it's delayed again until May 27. That's the same date that Mission: Impossible 7 had been slated to hit theaters, so that film is also getting shoved back — until Sept. 30, Deadline reports.

It said that Paramount had made the decision due to COVID-19 concerns after it consulted with experts.

Meanwhile, Variety reports that Sony has similarly pushed back the release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife by just over a week, from Nov. 11 to Nov. 19.

Dozens of films have seen their theatrical releases disrupted by the pandemic — either postponing when they hit theaters or sending them instead to online platforms. Among the other films delayed are sequels to Avatar, Dune and the Matrix, according to New York Magazine's Vulture.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.