The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to affect movie release dates. Yesterday Disney announced that it’s reshuffling much of its schedule, delaying Mulan indefinitely and pushing back planned Avatar and Star Wars films.
After a couple of delays, Niki Caro’s Mulan remake was scheduled to be released to theaters on August 21. It originally had a March release date.
In a statement, a Walt Disney Studios spokesperson said –
“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, and 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.”
On social media, Cameron shared a letter to Avatar fans, revealing that not only did the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic delay live-action filming in New Zealand, but it also halted soundstage work in Los Angeles.
“There is no one more disappointed about this delay than me,” Cameron wrote. “But I am buoyed by the incredible performance of our cast and the extraordinary work that Weta Digital is doing bringing the world of Pandora and the characters of the film to life.”
The three untitled Star Wars movies have also been pushed back one year and are now scheduled for December 2023, 2025, and 2027.
Disney has shifted a few of its planned theatrical releases to its streaming service, Disney+, including Artemis Fowl and the filmed Hamilton movie (which was originally supposed to hit theaters in 2021), as the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep movie theaters closed. For now, the studio seems committed to releasing some of its big-budget films like Mulan in theaters, even if they have yet to set a date.
Notably absent from Disney’s release date announcement was the much-delayed superhero film The New Mutants, which has already been pushed back multiple times since its original 2018 date. (It was finally supposed to hit theaters in April 2020 but was rescheduled for August once the pandemic broke.) As of right now, The New Mutants is still set for Aug. 28, 2020, making it Disney’s next planned theatrical release.