Remember how the summer of 2020 was supposed to be chock-full of some highly-anticipated blockbuster films from some of the biggest studios around? The scheduling of those movies was pretty ironclad as early as the year before. Then the novel coronavirus outbreak became a pandemic and, as cinemas tended to gather lots of people, they were closed worldwide alongside so many other businesses. With the year on its second half, but with movie-houses still hesitant to reopen even with protocols for limited capacity, some studios are reconsidering their late-year film premiere reshuffles. Disney, for example, has decided on taking drastic steps with one of theirs.
Variety tells us that Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures has delayed the release of the live-action remake of their 1998 animated classic “Mulan” for a third time, and more, as this latest postponement is now indefinite in duration. This is incredibly sobering news for Disney fans who have been disappointed at missing the original March 27 premiere because of COVID-19. The studio had set a new date for July 24, only to push it back again to August 21 after conditions in North America do not appear to have improved.
A Disney spokesperson remarked about the indefinite postponement of “Mulan” saying that no release schedule for movies can be set in stone anymore due to the dynamic situation caused by the COVID pandemic. The result is that Disney has to not give a premiere date while they continue to assess the levels of freedom for both cinemas and moviegoers worldwide to operate (for the former) and go to watch (for the latter). While theaters in China, presently the world’s biggest film audience, have begun to gradually reopen with limited seating capacity, many major North American movie-house chains have been a bit skittish about resuming operation.
Disney’s action is being mirrored by other studios. Their longtime rival Warner Bros. Pictures is also putting their Christopher Noland-directed film “Tenet” on a floating release schedule for any date left in the year 2020. Some fans of “Mulan” however have been expressing concern on social media that Disney might simply put the live-action remake into a digital release for Disney+, similar to the film recording of hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” earlier this month, when it was supposed to premiere cinematically in 2021. Another thing the indefinite hiatus is doing is keeping the threats of boycotts from Hong Kong moviegoers from being realized for now.
“Mulan” is directed by Niki Caro, and stars Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Gong Li and Jet Li.
Image courtesy of Vulture