A few days ago it was announced that Independence Day 2 would be delayed by a whole year, pushing its release date back to July 2016. And a week before that, came the news that Star Wars Episode VII was coming in December 2015, rather than the May release that everyone expected. Delays in a production usually signal all sorts of doom and destruction, but it isn’t always a bad thing. Delays can actually be a huge benefit to some productions, and having to wait can actually make the end result so much sweeter.
One example of this is the final film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. There and Back Again was originally slated for a July 2014 release, but was soon pushed back to December, and in my eyes, the five month delay is definitely a benefit, as there is just something so inherently wrong about a Peter Jackson blockbuster not coming out at Christmas.
Another delay that I’m not worried about is Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur. The internet went into uproar when the lovable Bob Peterson was fired from his own passion project. This resulted in The Good Dinosaur being delayed until 2015, and left 2014 as an entirely Pixar-free year, the first one since 2005. But it’s not all bad news. Pixar has changed directors halfway through a project before. They did it with Brave, which turned out to be rather excellent, but more importantly, they did it with Ratatouille, which is undoubtedly one of their greatest films. So despite delays and production troubles, there is still hope for The Good Dinosaur, and it will probably end up a stronger film because of it.
And it’s not just the movies. The release of Mass Effect 3 suffered a four month delay, and the company went on to deliver the strongest game in the entire franchise (although, based on the ending and the fact they had to release the Extended Cut three months later suggests that maybe they should have been delayed for even longer…).
Even the comic book world has these kinds of valuable setbacks. Captain America: White, a continuation of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s critically acclaimed “colours” trilogy (Spiderman: Blue, Daredevil: Yellow, Hulk: Gray) was first announced back in 2008, but has suffered so many delays that we’re still waiting for the first issue. But based on the quality of the work this dynamic duo (sorry) have produced in the past, it’s going to be well worth the wait.
When it comes to Star Wars and Independence Day, I’m staying optimistic about these delays, and I’ll tell you why. Pushing Independence Day 2 back to summer 2016 seems to make perfect sense, as it means it will be released on the 20th anniversary of the first film (man, I feel old). And who knows, maybe the delay is a way to ensure Will Smith will have a clean slate and can commit to the film.
In the case of Episode VII, the delay came as such welcome news because, while I have so far been impressed with the way that Disney has handled their takeover, the original release date always reeked a bit of trying-to-get-it-out-as-soon-as-possible, which is not a nice smell. Delaying the movie shows that they are actually interested in making sure they get it right and give us a movie that lives up to its legacy, rather than just trying to squeeze the money out of a big-name franchise. And you have to admit, that is an impressive and reassuring move for a big corporation like Disney.
Now all they have to do is cancel the Boba Fett and Yoda spinoffs, and I’ll be completely convinced.