Disney Throws Up The White Flag! Shelves All Future Releases Indefinitely!!!
The Mouse has met his match! COVID-19 has scared Disney so much, they have taken their film slate for 2020 and have shelved it indefinitely. Furthermore, planned sequels for Avatar and the next Star Wars trilogy have been put on hold until further notice!
MulanandBlack Widoware just two of the highest-profile films that Disney has delayed. It thought that maybe one of those might just be released on Disney+ but not we are looking at a future where both films could possibly land on the streaming service. So far, Disney hasn’t made the decision to premiere any of its postponed films on Disney+, although it did makeFrozen 2available to stream three months earlier than intended, andRise of Skywalkeravailable for purchase ahead of schedule too.
Check out these list of films, via GQ, that have Disney has had to delay this year due to COVID-19. (Reminder: Some of the films will be released through 20th Century Fox who is now owned by Disney.)
Original release date:March 27
Disney bet big withMulan, its live-action remake of the 1998 animated classic. The film boasted an all-Asian cast, and was specifically tailored to Chinese audiences’ tastes so that the retelling of the classic Chinese myth would be a big hit overseas. However, the spread of COVID-19, which began in China in late 2019, prompted Disney to abandon its plan to release the film on the same day internationally. It was only later, on March 12, that Disney scrapped the U.S. release date as well. A new release hasn’t been set yet.
The New Mutants
Original release date:April 3
This X-Men film has already had a rough history—this is thefourthtime thatNew Mutantshas had its premiere rescheduled. It was first supposed to hit theaters on April 13, 2018, but a series of reported reshoots, Disney’s acquisition of Fox, and now coronavirus have all prompted it to switch dates. Disney announced thatThe New Mutantswould not be opening on April 3 at the same time it announcedMulanwas getting the bump.
Original release date:April 17
This Guillermo Del Toro-produced horror-thriller was also delayed in the same wave asMulan. The film, an adaptation of a short story calledThe Quiet BoybyChannel Zerocreator Nick Antosca, does not yet have a new release date. (If you want to read that short story, though, it’s available onGuernicaand it’s very good).
Original release date:May 1
Disney initially held off on postponing the release of the first of two MCU movies planned for 2020, Scarlett Johansson’s highly-anticipated stand-alone. But, yesterday, as the pandemic worsened, they pushed back the premiere ofBlack Widowto an as-yet-unspecified time. Florence Pugh, David Harbour, and Rachel Weisz co-star in this entry, which takes place between the events ofCaptain America: Civil WarandAvengers: Infinity War.
Personal History of David Copperfield
Original release date:May 8
This Dev Patel-led Searchlight Pictures release, a comedic take on Charles Dickens’sDavid Copperfield, had its release date postponed on the same day asBlack Widowhad its premiere moved.
Woman in the Window
Original release date:May 15
Finally (for now, at least), Disney has also postponed the release ofWoman in the Window, a thriller starring Amy Adams. The film, from 20th Century (formerly 20th Century Fox), was based on a 2018 book of the same name. There’s—surprise!—no new release date yet.
Halted productions, and the future
While it’s possible that Disney will postpone the release of additional films if the pandemic continues to worsen (Artemis Fowlon May 29 and Pixar’sSoulon June 19 would likely be the next to go), COVID-19 has already prompted Disney to stop production on its live-action films and shows. On Friday, the studio announced that, due to an abundance of caution, it had halted production and pre-production on several films, including the live-actionLittle Mermaid, 2021 MCU releaseShang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, and theHome Aloneremake, among others. Filming in New Zealand for the fourAvatarsequels—the first of which was supposed to premiere this December—hasalso been stopped.
The Disney+ live-action series that are currently in the works also had their production suspended.The Falcon and the Winter Soldierwas halted first, because it was filming in Eastern Europe where COVID-19 spread early, butLokiandWandaVisionhave joined it. Filming onThe MandalorianSeason 2appears to have wrapped, so it’s possible that work on the sophomore season could safely continue.
It’s unconfirmed to what extent these pauses in production will delay the eventual release of Disney’s upcoming slate of movies and TV shows. It’s also possible—although not confirmed—that the need to re-slot films likeMulanandBlack Widowinto the release schedule once things are back to normal will necessitate moving other release dates around regardless. Disney, along with all of us, just has to wait and see where this crisis leads.