It’s been nearly a year now since Disney first showed off a trailer for Free Guy, the Ryan Reynolds gaming action-comedy that dares to ask the question: What if it-a him, Mario? Or, more specifically: What would it be like if the former Pikachu detective was just a character in a video game, one who suddenly came to realize that all the violence and chaos of his existence was caused by human players coming in and smashing the place up? Reynolds’ character, Guy, will presumably have to endure all sorts of threats and dangers as he foments revolution against the player menace, from deadly car stunts, to high-pitched gun battles, to the lethal threat of, uh, his movie not ever coming out.
That’s right, it’s that time of pandemic once again, as Disney announced tonight that it’s dropping both Free Guy (formerly scheduled for a December 11 release) and Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie adaptation Death On The Nile (hypothetically arriving on December 18) from its 2020 film schedule, shunting them from “potentially alive” to the grim abyss of “Unset.” That leaves exactly one movie left on Disney’s theatrical calendar for the year: Chloé Zhao’s Venice Film Festival winner Nomadland, which may or may not get a very limited theater run starting on December 4. (Our guess? Nah.) The company’s next releases aren’t scheduled to hit theaters until February and March, which is when The King’s Man and Raya And The Last Dragon are set to arrive; not longer after that, we’ll be in May, where Black Widow is just sort of hanging around, praying for a vaccine.
Free Guy and Nile will, presumably, find their way to consumers some day; Disney’s not in the business in making no money off of paying out for Reynolds, or Branagh-flick co-stars Gal Gadot or Letitia Wright. For now, though, they’re trapped in the abyss, waiting to see where on the 2021 film calendar they’ll finally wash up.