Another cinematic victim has fallen to the coronavirus, this time it is the high-profile, high-octane action movie Fast & Furious 9 which has sadly now been pushed back to a release date of April 2021. This means that the movie will be have been postponed by a whole year by the time it comes out.

Universal Studios, the company behind the Fast & Furious franchise, has made the decision in response to the impact coronavirus is having on the global economy and the distribution landscape. At present, theaters remain closed across the world in places such as Italy, South Korea, and China, where the virus has hit the hardest. There is also the mounting pressure for theaters to close in the United States as the viral outbreak continues to spread.

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Star of the Fast & Furious franchise, Vin Diesel, made the announcement on social media with the following statement.

"To our family of Fast fans everywhere, we feel all the love and the anticipation you have for the next chapter in our saga. That's why it's especially tough to let you know that we have to move the release date of the film. It's become clear that it won't be possible for all of our fans around the world to see the film this May.

We are moving the global release date to April 2021, with North America opening on April 2. While we know there is disappointment in having to wait a little while longer, this move is made with the safety of everyone as our foremost consideration. Moving will allow our global family to experience our new chapter together. We'll see you next spring. Much love, Your Fast Family"

The news is sure to disappoint fans of the action franchise, who were all set to see the movie next month. Vin Diesel has stated recently that the movie would not be delayed due to the coronavirus, but sadly the escalation of the situation has forced the studio's hand in the name of public health. Fast 9 is only one of several high-profile releases to have moved their release dates in the wake of the ongoing pandemic.

Upcoming horror movie A Quiet Place 2 has been delayed as filmmakers John Krasinski opted not to premiere in March and the James Bond adventure No Time to Die moved from April to November. Of course, each of these moves come at a cost with tens of millions of dollars now being in lost marketing revenue. There is sure to be more drama and disruption to come as the coronavirus continues to sweep the globe.

Fast 9 picks up following the events of 2017's The Fate of the Furious. Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto and his family must face Dominic's younger brother Jakob, a deadly assassin, who is working with their old enemy Cipher, and who holds a personal vendetta against Dominic.

The movie is directed by Justin Lin and stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, and Charlize Theron, with John Cena as Dom's brother Jakob Toretto. Fast 9 will now open globally in April 2021 and in the U.S. on April 2. This comes to us courtesy of The Fast and Furious Twitter account.