The Omicron variant seems to have claimed its first cinematic casualty as Operation Mincemeat pushes back its January release by three months.

Well, we’ve been here before.

Warner Bros has pushed back the release of Operation Mincemeat, the upcoming World War II drama starring Colin Firth and Matthew MacFayden, and an impressive British ensemble, into April. The film tells the story of ‘two British officers who plant false documents on the body of a dead man in enemy waters in an effort to spread misinformation to the Axis powers.’

Whilst no reason has been given for the delay, with the Omicron variant surging here in the UK and the film skewing towards an older audience who are already proving reluctant to venture back into cinemas, Warner Bros’ thinking is pretty clear.

The film, which also stars Kelly Macdonald, Jason Isaacs, Penelope Wilton, Simon Russell Beale and Johnny Flynn, looks like it could be a charming callback to the kind of plucky British tales of derring do, with a desperate plan being forged against huge odds in the shadow of a great evil. However, releasing in the face of rising Omicron case numbers might be a gamble too far for the film, and as such, we’ll see it in April instead.

This disappointing news comes in the same week that masks have once again become compulsory in UK cinemas. If the past is anything to go by, one release delay normally triggers a wave of others, so we’ll have to wait and see if this is the case, on this occasion.

Operation Mincemeat is helmed by Shakespeare in Love director John Madden  from a script by The Pacific‘s Michelle Ashford. In the US, it’s heading to Netflix. You can catch the trailer below, whilst we wait for the film’s new release date to roll around.

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