Disney had decided to halt production on its current and upcoming slate of live-action movies. This comes as the coronavirus outbreak worsens, with countries around the world taking progressively extreme measures to contain the disease. As a precaution, Disney is temporarily suspending filming on movies such as The Little Mermaid remake, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and more.
According to various reports, Disney has already stopped filming projects that are currently in production, such as Guillermo del Toro's Nightmare Alley, the filmmaker's follow-up to the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water, which is being produced through Searchlight Pictures, and Ridley Scott's The Last Duel, through 20th Century Studios, which stars Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Adam Driver. As we previously reported, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, an upcoming Marvel Studios released, recently halted production as director Destin Daniel Cretton self-isolated.
Upcoming productions, some of which were mere days away from filming, such as The Little Mermaid live-action remake, Disney+'s Home Alone reboot, Peter Pan and Wendy and Shrunk, the upcoming Honey, I Shrunk the Kids sequel, have all been put on pause as well. It's unclear at this time if the delay, which is set for an indefinite period of time, will have an effect on any of the released dates for these titles. A Disney spokesperson had this to say about the decision in a statement.
"While there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our productions, after considering the current environment and the best interests of our cast and crew, we have made the decision to pause production on some of our live-action films for a short time. We will continue to assess the situation and restart as soon as feasible."
The decision comes just after the studio decided to delay several major upcoming theatrical releases, including Mulan, The New Mutants, which has already been delayed several times already, and Antlers, which was produced by Guillermo del Toro. Disney followed in the footsteps of Paramount, Universal and others, as A Quiet Place: Part II, F9 and No Time to Die, amongst other upcoming movies, have been delayed as well. The decision was made in light of theaters in China being shut down, with no end in sight, with Italy and other countries closing cinemas as well.
No theaters in the U.S. have been closed yet, but theaters are taking precautions and it's expected theaters could shut down, if the situation worsens. The coronavirus has been unpredictable and has infected more than 140,000 people worldwide, with more than 5,000 deaths reported. With public gatherings limited, theme parks have closed, major events have been canceled or postponed and the global box office has taken a massive hit. With future releases now being delayed, this could affect the entertainment industry for months, if not years to come. We'll be sure to keep you posted as the situation develops. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.