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Maverick hits the brakes as COVID-19 delays release

Top Gun: Maverick has become the latest Hollywood film to have its release delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The much-anticipated sequel was set to be released on 24 June - 34 years after the 1986 original.

It will now debut in cinemas on 23 December.

Tom Cruise, who is returning as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, said fans would have to wait "a little longer" to see his much-loved naval aviator head back to the skies.

The actor, 57, said on Twitter: "I know many of you have waited 34 years.

"Unfortunately, it will be a little longer. Top Gun: Maverick will fly this December. Stay safe, everyone."

The film will see Val Kilmer reprise his role as Tom "Iceman" Kazansky, while Jon Hamm, Lewis Pullman and Charles Parnell will make their debuts.

Filming in Venice for the latest Mission: Impossible 7, which also stars Cruise, was stopped in February over coronavirus fears in northern Italy.

Cruise was not on set when the decision was made to halt filming.

Other major film releases have been postponed until 2021.

Spider-Man spin-off Morbius, the latest instalment in the Ghostbusters franchise and Peter Rabbit 2 will launch in the US next year rather than in the summer, Sony has confirmed.

The new James Bond outing No Time To Die, which had been due to launch in the UK this week, and Disney blockbusters Mulan and Black Widow have also been delayed.

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