skip to main content
We may earn money when you click our links.

‘Dune’ Delayed to March. Here’s Where Other Fall Movies Stand

Empty movie theater in darkness with projector light on

The Take

  • Summer movies are bringing the box office back, with Barbie bringing in over $155 million during its opening weekend and Oppenheimer hitting $80 million.
  • But studios are beginning to remove late summer and fall movies from their schedule, citing the SAG-AFTRA strike as the main reason for the move.
  • Studios have already changed the release dates for four movies or set them to “TBD.” More studio movies with A-list actors could face the same fate this fall.
  • The release schedule changes are impacting completed movies. Numerous other productions have shut down due to the strike.
  • On August 24, Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment delayed Dune: Part Two to 2024—March 15, to be exact.

While the summer release schedule is pretty set with Barbenheimer breaking records this past weekend and movies like Disney’s The Haunted Mansion, Warner Bros. Discovery’s The Meg 2, Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Sony’s Gran Turismo ready to go, it’s important to note that those four movies are sequels or based on well-known IP that can help the studio sell tickets even if actors are on strike.

However, if the strike stretches through August, there could be problems. We’re starting to see movies shift their release date, and studios are open to schedule changes.

But the schedule changes could hurt the studios more than the strike and risk alienating audiences who don’t want to watch recycled content in their living room.

Still, while actors can’t promote Hollywood studio movies, independent films are fair game. It could mean we will see more non-studio films in theaters soon. But for some of the bigger A-list actor-driven movies—like Challengers—we’re seeing studios move their release date by a year to avoid the actors’ strike.

Dune: Part Two pushed to March by Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment

After reportedly eyeing a 2024 release back in July, it’s now official: Warner Bros. and Legendary are moving Dune: Part Two back five months to March 15, 2024. (The film was originally scheduled to release on November 3, 2023.

The cited reason for this delay is the SAG-AFTRA strike and the fact that the star-studded cast—including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, and Javier Bardem with newcomers Austin Butler and Florence Pugh—cannot do any publicity for the film.

The studios hope this scheduling change will encourage spring break audiences to vacation in Arrakis in 2024.

Warner Bros. is also considering moving its December releases, but nothing has been confirmed yet. Only Sony has actually shifted its fall slate.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire moved back one month

The scheduling shift with Dune: Part Two means that Legendary’s big other March release will be moved to April. That’s right, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, the next installment of the Monsterverse and a team-up of Godzilla and King Kong, is now releasing on April 12. Warner Bros. is also releasing this Legendary film.

Challengers delayed a year by Amazon Studios

The new film from director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name, Bones & All) delayed its release by a year. The film is completed and was set to open the Venice Film Festival at the end of August before premiering on September 15 on Amazon Prime Video.

However, the payday for star Zendaya is reportedly tied to her red-carpet appearances and online posts, which are not allowed under SAG-AFTRA’s strike rules. Guadagnino suggested delaying the release date, and Challengers is the first completed film to have its release impacted by the strike.

Last week, we learned that the film is skipping Venice due to promotional complications from the SAG-AFTRA strike and will instead premiere there next year. The film’s stars, including Zendaya, Mike Fast, and Josh O’Connor, would have been unable to do publicity or help launch the film in Venice. The Prime release date has also shifted to early summer 2024.

Searchlight will release Poor Things three months later

Even though the new film from Yorgos Lanthimos will premiere at the Venice Film Festival next month, Searchlight announced the film will be moving its release date from September 8 to December 8.

Poor Things stars Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, and Willem Dafoe. The hope is that the new release date will be after the SAG-AFTRA strike is over and will allow the actors to promote the film. However, the Venice premiere will likely occur without its stars due to the SAG-AFTRA strike.

Problemista delayed by A24

The new movie from A24 has been moved off its release date and delayed by the studio. Problemista is written and directed by Julio Torres, with Torres and Tilda Swinton starring. A24 initially scheduled the movie for a limited release on August 4, and a new date has yet to be announced.

Just like with Challengers and Poor Things, Problemista is set to benefit from its writer/director (Torres) and star power (Swinton), who cannot promote the film during the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

White Bird: A Wonder Story moved to the winter by Lionsgate

Lionsgate’s White Bird: A Wonder Story is moving its release date from a limited release starting August 18 to a TBD Q4 release. The film is based on a graphic novel in the same universe as the 2017 movie Wonder and is directed by Marc Forster.

White Bird stars Helen Mirren and Gillian Anderson and will need its stars for promotion, which is a big reason for the release date delay.

Sony Pictures shifts its schedule

Sony’s fall and winter schedule is moving around because of the SAG-AFTRA strike.

Gran Turismo moves back two weeks

Gran Turismo was originally set for release on August 11 but instead it’s doing “sneak previews” and opening officially on August 25. Sony says the change is because of the strike, with a spokesperson noting, “The stars can’t promote the film, but the audience can.”

Kraven the Hunter delays to August 2024

The Sony/Marvel movie Kraven the Hunter was originally scheduled for October 6 but is now moving all the way to August 30, 2024—a year away. Why? The studio wants a global promotional tour led by star Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and that’s not possible with actors on strike.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife needs actors for post-production

Ghostbusters: Afterlife has finished principal production but still needs actors for post, so it’s moving back a few months from December 20 to March 29, 2024. (That’s Easter weekend.)

Spider-Man: Beyond the Spiderverse is TBD

The movement of Ghostbusters: Afterlife to Easter weekend means Spider-Man: Beyond the Spiderverse is knocked off its release date and set for a TBD date. While the March 29, 2024 release was wishful thinking anyways, the film does need its actors for voiceover work and won’t be ready in time.

Karate Kid reboot moves back six months

A reboot of The Karate Kid was set for June 7, 2024 but is moving six months later to December 13, 2024.

They Listen is now TBD

Finally, They Listen from Blumhouse and Sony was removed from its August 30, 2024 and is currently TBD.

Is the fall movie schedule going to move?

There are rumblings that Warner Bros. Discovery may shift Dune: Part Two into 2024, moving it away from its November 3 release date. Both WBD and Legendary Entertainment must agree to a new date. There has not been a comment from either studio on if the production will move, but stars, including Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, will not be able to promote the movie if SAG-AFTRA is on strike. (Update: As we noted above, Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment announced they are pushing back Dune: Part Two to March 2024.)

Warner Bros. Discovery is also considering moving The Color Purple and the DC sequel Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom. Both movies are dated for December, so there is time, but if the strike lasts through August, expect studios to move those movies into 2024.

Other movies poised to come out in the late fall include Disney/Marvel’s The Marvels, Liosngate’s The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, Sony and Apple’s epic Napoleon. While Marvel and The Hunger Games have built-in audiences for their IP, star power is a big part of the promotional machine. All of those could move depending on how long the SAG-AFTRA strike lasts.

Will fall film festivals be delayed?

Looking farther down the calendar into the fall, the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) are still on. Venice announced its lineup on July 25, which includes many movies starring striking actors.

For its part, Venice’s festival director believes that many of the actors in independent productions will be able to get waivers to appear at the festival. “We didn’t get any confirmation so far, but we are looking forward to getting these waivers and confirming that most of the talents will be in Venice,” Alberto Barbera told The Hollywood Reporter. But movies from Netflix and the studios (like Searchlight’s Poor Things) will have to do without star power in Venice.

Can actors promote their films during the strike?

SAG-AFTRA strike rules state that “promotion of/publicity services for work under the TV/Theatrical Contracts” is prohibited and must be withheld by all members of SAG-AFTRA who are on strike. However, just as the union is granting filming waivers for truly independent productions, the union is also granting publicity waivers.

SAG-AFTRA granted the first such waiver on Wednesday to the film The Unknown Country, which stars Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon) and Raymond Lee (Quantum Leap). The filmmakers, cast, and crew will do a local premiere in South Dakota, a community screening for the indigenous community, and Q&As in New York and Los Angeles on opening weekend. Music Box Films, an independent and non-AMPTP distributor, is releasing The Unknown Country.

Waivers may be granted during the strike to other independent productions as well.

Don't miss an update

Stay updated on the latest products and services anytime anywhere.