Vin Diesel says 'Fast & Furious 9' premiere will happen because 'We need movies now more than ever'

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Vin Diesel (Credit: Scott Roth/Invision/AP)

In the wake of premiere cancellations and release delays, Vin Diesel has said that Fast & Furious 9 will be unleashed on 22 May despite concerns over coronavirus.

New Bond movie No Time To Die is among those to have shifted release dates, while several premieres in China have been axed following worldwide concern over the spread of the virus.

Speaking to USA Today Diesel, who’s promoting his new Sony Pictures release Bloodshot, said that he “won’t fault anyone in the world for saying, 'You guys are stupid for releasing this movie right now.'”

He added: “We need movies now more than ever. We're already in a very interesting time where cinema and the cinematic experience is so threatened.

Read more: Coronavirus could cost Mulan millions

“So, yes, put it on record we're going to show up. I love to show up for the audience and for the fans because God knows how much they've showed up for me. I’m crazy. I'm begging Sony to let me go to China, even now. And you should see everyone's faces like, 'You're going alone, buddy!'

“Maybe the higher thinking is not to just focus on the box office, but know that we're all one world and we all have to get through this together.”

The release date of new Bond movie No Time To Die was all set for 2 April, but have now been shifted seven months to 12 November (and 25 November in the US).

The movie's Chinese premiere was axed last month, along with the premieres for movies like 1917 and Sonic The Hedgehog.

Daniel Craig in No Time To Die (Credit: MGM/Universal)

Disney is also concerned over how the outbreak in China will affect the release of the live-action remake of Mulan.

Read more: Mission: Impossible 7 filming suspended in Venice

The Chinese government decides when movies in the country are released, not the film companies releasing them, and currently the vast majority of cinemas in China are shuttered.

Vin Diesel in Bloodshot. (Sony Pictures)

As of last month, former Disney boss Bob Iger said that the studio was 'not sure when' the movie would be hitting screens in China.

In the meantime, the box office economy in China has tanked, losing £1.5 billion since the cinema closures.

Fast & Furious 9 – or F9, as it's being billed internationally – is due for release on 22 May.

Diesel’s new film Bloodshot comes to cinemas on Wednesday, 11 March.