Well, it’s happened. Just days after it was alleged that No Time to Die could be delayed to 2021, other studios are actually doing it and pushing back a number of big titles by up to a year. And Disney has made the most sweeping changes of them all.
With Warner Bros. delaying Christopher Nolan’s Tenet recently, Disney’s live-action Mulan would have been the first major release in cinemas on 21 August. As US cinemas don’t appear to be opening any time soon though thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic not abating, Disney has now removed Mulan entirely off its release calendar. In a statement, the studio said that it’s just “pausing our release plans for Mulan as we assess how we can most effectively bring this film to audiences around the world”. Some have taken this to suggest a possible Disney+ release, but with a production budget of over $200 million, no chance I see that happening.
It wasn’t just Mulan that was in the House of Mouse’s crosshairs. James Cameron’s upcoming Avatar sequels (which Disney inherited from Fox when it bought over that studio) have all been pushed back a respective year following over four months of lost production time. The upcoming movies were supposed to be released on a two-year cycle starting in December 2021, but they will now instead hit theatres on 16 December 2022 for Avatar 2, 20 December 2024 for Avatar 2, 18 December 2026 for Avatar 2, and 22 December 2028 for Avatar 2.
Originally, Disney planned for these Avatar films to alternate yearly December releases with three previously announced Star Wars films starting in 2022, but these have also been pushed back by a year each. The still untitled trio (which may be a new Star Wars trilogy set either post- or pre-The Rise of Skywalker, or three unrelated entries in the franchise) will now drop on 22 December 2023, 19 December 2025, and 27 December 2027.
Other Disney delays saw the Spider-Man: Far From sequel pushed back a month to 16 December 2021, taking over the slot previously occupied by Avatar 2. Disney’s Fox Searchlight banner also saw Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel bumped from Christmas 2020 to 15 October 2021, while Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch has been taken out of its 16 October 2020 slot with no new date revealed yet. Death on the Nile moves back just two weeks to 23 October 2020. Strangely enough though, in all the shuffling, The New Mutants isn’t moving from its 28 August slot. Here I do suspect we may see a simultaneous release on Disney+ with whatever cinemas are open.
More on the delays from other studios soon.
Last Updated: July 24, 2020