Disney have delayed the release of a trio of major films, citing the “global health crisis” produced by the coronavirus pandemic.
The live-action re-make of Mulan, which had originally been set for a March release and was recently hoping to make an August arrival in cinemas, has been postponed indefinitely.
“It’s become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during this global health crisis,” a Disney representative said. “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.”
Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, which had been set for a release on October 16, has also been removed from Disney’s schedule.
This news will come as a fresh blow to cinema operators, with many in the business having hoped that the now-scrapped August release date for Mulan could’ve sparked a late summer boom in ticket sales.
The forthcoming new Star Wars trilogy, meanwhile, has been pushed back a year as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The first movie in that new trio will now be released on December 22, 2023 instead of its original December 2022 date.
The first instalment of the four-part sequel to Avatar has also been pushed back to December 16, 2022. Avatar 3, 4, and 5 are due out on December 20, 2024, December 18, 2026 and December 22, 2028 respectively.
In a statement, Avatar director James Cameron cited the recent production delays due to the pandemic and said that “prior to COVID-19, everything was on track to bring you the first sequel in December 2021.
“Unfortunately, due to the impact that the pandemic has had on our schedule it is no longer possible for us to make that date.”
Last week, Christopher Nolan’s forthcoming new film Tenet had its release date postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic.