It’s strange how something becomes news so regularly that it hardly feels like news anymore—like a studio delaying the release of another movie due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this edition of COVID MadLibs, it’s MGM delaying the release of its upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic by seven months. Set for release on January 15, Respect will now (possibly? Maybe? Who the hell knows?) hit theaters on August 13, 2021, per The Playlist. The drama stars Jennifer Hudson as the iconic Queen of Soul, who actually chose Hudson to play the role prior to her passing in 2018. Directed by Liesl Tommy, Respect also stars Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald, and Marlon Wayans, and was expected to be a contender for the 2021 Academy Awards—which is going to look real fuckin’ weird next year, folks.
Respect is, of course, just the latest film to have its release delayed due to the ongoing pandemic, which has kept movie theaters closed in major markets like Los Angeles and New York. Despite some locations across the country re-opening, the industry has unsurprisingly seen a steep decline in ticket sales, leaving some chains uncertain of their future. All Regal Cinema locations in the U.S. were recently closed by parent company Cineworld, while AMC Theatres says it’s on track to run out of money entirely by early 2021.