Amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, Disney has decided to delay “Mulan” from its August 21 release indefinitely and postpone the premieres of future “Star Wars” and “Avatar” movies by at least a year.
The company said that continued theater closures and production shutdowns were the chief reasons for the decision.
“Over the last few months, it’s become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during this global health crisis,” the Burbank, California-based Disney said in a statement.
“Today that means pausing our release plans for ‘Mulan’ as we assess how we can most effectively bring this film to audiences around the world.”
This is already the fourth time the live-action remake of the 1998 animated hit “Mulan” has been postponed, and no new date has been set.
Movie theaters had hopes that the highly anticipated film would help bring families back to financially struggling cinemas. Major movie-theater chains have been closed since mid-March.
With “Mulan” now out of the picture, there appears to be no releases of Hollywood blockbusters in the coming weeks. Paramount’s “A Quiet Place Part II” is set for its debut on September 4.
On Monday, Christopher Nolan’s spy-thriller “Tenet” moved out of its August 12 premiere and has been postponed indefinitely, despite AT&T CEO John Stankey promising movie-theater owners that the film would have a theatrical release.
“Tenet,” which boasts a cast that includes Robert Pattinson, John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki and Michael Caine, had originally been set to debut in theaters on July 17.
“The New Mutants,” part of the “X-Men” franchise, still appears set for its debut on August 28, but that largely depends on whether movie theaters are able to reopen next month. The film has been delayed for three years.
There is always, however, the possibility that these postponed films will premiere on a streaming platform, much like what happened to “Greyhound,” the WWII movie written by and starring Tom Hanks.
“Greyhound” was originally set to debut in theaters on Father's Day weekend, but ended up premiering on Apple TV+ on July 10.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.