LOS ANGELES – Disney has delayed the theatrical release of “Mulan” for a third time until Aug. 21 after the spike in coronavirus infections across the United States in the last week.
The live-action movie was originally scheduled to hit the theaters on March 27, but the producers decided to delay it until July 24 as theaters in the US and elsewhere in the world closed due to lockdown measures when the coronavirus erupted globally.
The latest delay comes a day after Christopher Nolan’s new film “Tenet” was postponed until Aug. 12, shattering Hollywood’s hopes of rescuing a summer movie season after a long break due to the virus which had begun to ease in certain areas with social distancing measures.
“Tenet” was scheduled to hit the theaters on July 31. Both films are the first two heavy-budget movies on the release list for the post-quarantine era.
“While the pandemic has changed our release plans for ‘Mulan’ and we will continue to be flexible as conditions require, it has not changed our belief in the power of this film and its message of hope and perseverance,” Walt Disney Studios co-chairmen Alan Horn and Alan Bergman said in a statement.
“Director Niki Caro and our cast and crew have created a beautiful, epic, and moving film that is everything the cinematic experience should be, and that’s where we believe it belongs – on the world stage and the big screen for audiences around the globe to enjoy together,” the statement said.
The $250-million movie is a new version of the animation classic with actors and real scenes that stars Yifei Liu in the title role.
The movie premiered in Hollywood on March 10 with a star-studded red carpet despite coronavirus panic spreading and a state of emergency in California.
The event was held even as industry members speculated over whether it would go ahead after Disney was forced to cancel the China premiere, even though the Asian giant is one of the industry’s largest markets and the movie stars Chinese actors.
“Mulan” is based on the eponymous Disney animation and tells the story of a young Chinese maiden, played by Yifei Liu, who disguises herself as a man to become a warrior.
The film has one of the biggest Disney budgets to date.
After Disney announces the latest delay, “Tenet” is now expected to break the coronavirus-induced cinematic logjam.
Starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, and Elizabeth Debicki, “Tenet” is a thriller but not much is known apart from the fact that its premise revolves around the manipulation of time.
Unlike the next franchise installments like “James Bond” or “Mission: Impossible,” delayed for several months, the Warner Bros. studios decided to keep this blockbuster on the calendar.