Disney has joined a growing number of Hollywood studios postponing major releases. The coronavirus, which continues to spread across the world, is having adverse effects on the movie business. Both the live-action Mulan remake, which was set to arrive in theaters later this month, as well as the long-delayed X-Men spin-off The New Mutants, which was set to arrive next month, have been delayed indefinitely. With things expected to get worse before they get better, this could be a signal of more to come.
According to several reports, Mulan and The New Mutants will no longer arrive in theaters on their previously announced release dates. Mulan, which serves as a remake of the 1998 Disney animated classic of the same name, had been set to roll out in the U.S. on March 27. The studio recently cancelled the European red carpet for the premiere, which led many to speculate a delay was coming as well. That turned out to be true. The New Mutants, meanwhile, had finally been scheduled to arrive on April 3.
Additionally, Antlers, the upcoming horror movie produced by Guillermo del Toro, has been delayed as well. The feature was set to arrive on April 17 from Searchlight Pictures. No new release date has been provided at this time. The latest from director Scott Cooper was inherited by Disney as part of the $71.3 billion merger with Fox last year. These join recent major releases from other studios that have been delayed such as No Time to Die, Peter Rabbit 2, A Quiet Place: Part II and F9, the latest Fast & Furious entry, which was pushed back a full year.
Mulan was/is poised to be one of Disney's biggest releases of 2020. The remake had been tracking for a big opening weekend at the box office, and the first wave of reactions to the movie was overwhelmingly positive. Directed by Niki Caro, the cast includes Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Gong Li and Jet Li. Disney's recent, similar remakes, such as The Lion King, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast have done exceedingly well financially.
The New Mutants, also inherited by Disney as part of the Fox deal, simply can't catch a break. Director Josh Boone's horror-tinged X-Men spin-off was originally supposed to hit theaters in April 2018. Boone and Fox clashed behind the scenes and left the movie collecting dust, unfinished for months. Disney asked Boone to finish the Marvel Comics adaptation and had been planning to give it a theatrical release, despite rumors it would be dumped to streaming. Now, it's back on uncertain ground.
Theaters in China have been closed for weeks, with Italy and other countries following suit more recently. While theaters in the U.S. have yet to close, there is a growing sense that will happen in order to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. To date, more than 130,000 cases have been reported worldwide, with nearly 5,000 deaths. The outbreak has already led to millions of dollars in losses at the box office. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.