Disney has taken drastic action and dropped the planned 21st August release for Mulan, and isn’t rescheduling it, while the planned premieres for the sequels of Star Wars and Avatar have been put back a year.
The dramatic move by Disney is directly related to the ongoing destruction in Hollywood caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the No.1 film production company in the US says it is time to stop yoyo-ing with movie releases.
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.”
The Niki Caro-directed live action version of Mulan has already been delayed twice this year and Disney doesn’t want to take any more chances with it, so it’s being put on ice.
Like the Christopher Nolan thriller Tenet, dropped from the schedules this week by Warner Bros, Deadline is suggesting that while US cinemas are in a state of chaos Mulan might be released internationally before it opens in the States.
Disney has also delayed the first of James Cameron’s four Avatar stories from its expected release in December 2021 to the same month in 2022 (the subsequent chapters move to 2024, 2026, and 2028).
Avatar director James Cameron explained that the pandemic had prevented live-action shooting on location in New Zealand and soundstage filming in Los Angeles.
EW reported the legendary director was moved to write an open letter to fans: “There is no one more disappointed about this delay than me. 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.”
Disney has also moved three planned Star Wars movies back a year and they’re rescheduled for December 2023, 2025, and 2027.
Disney has also unplaced Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch (due for 16th October) while Ridley Scott’s historical drama The Last Duel has gone from Christmas to October 2021.
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