As theaters still reel from closure during the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney is making some major changes to its upcoming release plan. On Thursday, the company announced that their entire schedule has been shifted entirely, many films by more than a year. Mulan, their next major release, has been removed from the schedule entirely.
Disney’s latest live action remake was originally slated to come out in March. In fact, by the time most of the United States went into full-on pandemic lock down, many critics had already attended preview screenings. At first Mulan was just pushed back to July 24th, but eventually it was delayed further to August 21st. Now its release date is anyone’s guess.
The shift has also affected all planned Star Wars and Avatar films. Each of those franchises’ upcoming spinoffs and sequels, announced all the way up to 2027, will be pushed back by at least a year. This means Avatar 2 won’t hit theaters until at least 2022, 13 years after the original and 8 years after its first tentative release date of 2014. Additionally, the first installment in the next untitled Star Wars series has shifted from 2022 to 2023.
A Walt Disney Studio spokesperson said in a statement:
“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.”
The House of Mouse’s news is a massive blow to movie theaters desperate to reopen after nearly half a year of closure. Warner Bros. announced earlier this week that Christopher Nolan’s next tentpole Tenet will no longer meet it’s expected August release, and many smaller films like Bill and Ted Face the Music have opted for a straight-to-VOD debut instead.
What do you think? Are you ready to head back to theaters or do you think studios are pushing on too recklessly? Let us know down below!
Did you know?
In 2017, James Cameron hinted that Avatar 2, tentatively titled Avatar: The Way of Water, would be the first ever film to incorporate glasses-free 3D, though now it’s unclear if that’s still in the works.