Delays Hit Disney’s Mulan, Avatar And Star Wars Releases

Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Amid the continuing uncertainty cast over the creative industries by the coronavirus pandemic, Disney has announced further delays to big-name releases, Entertainment Weekly reports.

The live action Mulan release has already been pushed back twice, setting it up with an August 21st slot. However, it was announced that it’s been delayed again, with no replacement release date announced.

A Disney 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.”

James Cameron’s (very) long awaited Avatar sequels have all been shifted. Way back in the dim and distant past of 2017 they were scheduled for release over the following six years. Since then the release dates had already drifted, ending up with the first sequel due next year. Now the releases have all been pushed back yet another year, with Avatar 2 due in 2022.

James Cameron shared a letter with Avatar fans on social media, citing delays to filming in New Zealand and Los Angeles caused by the global pandemic.

“There is no one more disappointed about this delay than me,” he 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.”

Disney’s three as yet untitled Star Wars universe movies have also been pushed back a year, rescheduled for 2023, 2025 and 2027.

As movie theatres remain closed, or only open with strict safety measures in place, Disney has migrated some of its planned releases to its Disney+ streaming service. However, Disney still remains committed to cinema releases for big budget movies like Mulan, even if the studio hasn’t been able to set a definite date.

Having said that, the already much delayed The New Mutants, originally set for 2018, wasn’t included in the delayed-release announcement, and is currently still scheduled for release at cinemas at the end of August 2020. Although it might be a case of Watch This Space…

Carolyn Hucker