Mulan delayed indefinitely while Disney pushes Star Wars and Avatar back a year

Disney's MULANMulan (Yifei Liu)Photo: Film Frame© 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Disney's MULANMulan (Yifei Liu)Photo: Film Frame© 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Disney has rearranged its film schedule again, delaying Mulan indefinitely and pushing its Avatar sequel and an unnamed Star Wars movie back a year.

In the midst of Comic-Con@Home, Disney announced on Thursday that Mulan is being delayed once again, this time indefinitely. This is the third time the live-action adaptation has been pushed back due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis, first moving its springtime release date to July, and then shifting gears from July to August.

But as things continue to change in regard to the pandemic, the studio realized that a concrete release date wasn’t achievable anytime in the near future. This follows a similar realization by Warner Bros. Studios, which delayed Christopher Nolan’s Tenet indefinitely as well.

“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,” said a Walt Disney Studios spokesperson in a statement obtained by Entertainment Weekly. 

And it’s not just Mulan that’s been shifted on Disney’s release schedule. Due to the changes, the studio also revealed that James Cameron’s Avatar 2, which was scheduled to arrive in December 2021, will be delayed by a year — meaning that any additional Avatar sequels will see similar delays.

The same is true of Disney’s future Star Wars projects, which currently remain unnamed. The upcoming trilogy has also been delayed by a year, meaning fans can expect new movies in 2023, 2025, and 2027.

Sadly, this may not be the last schedule change we see from Disney as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to develop. The studio has already had to shift its upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe release schedule, and may eventually need to again, depending on when it can wrap filming on its Disney+ television projects.

Likewise, movie theaters continue to change course regarding when they’ll finally open their doors again, with AMC Theatres moving its phased reopening from July to August. With no blockbusters coming out, it’s understandable that the chain isn’t in a rush to reopen — but that leaves the movie industry in a questionable place going forward.

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When do you think we’ll see the next studio film premiere in theaters? Share your predictions in the comments below.