Disney Delays 'Mulan' Release to Late August Due to Ongoing Pandemic

Mulan Still 1 -Liu Yifei - Disney Enterprises Publicity -H 2020
<p>'Mulan'</p>   |   Courtesy of Disney
The shift came after Warner Bros. likewise moved fellow summer tentpole 'Tenet' out of July.

Disney is once again delaying the release of Mulan due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. The tentpole will now open on Aug. 21.

Director Niki Caro's live-action adaptation of the classic animated pic had been set to hit theaters on July 24, but with cases of COVID-19 surging again in California and a handful of other states, Disney's plans have changed. The company is also delaying next month's planned reopening of Disneyland in Anaheim.

“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. 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,” said Alan Horn and Alan Bergman, co-chairman of Walt Disney studios (Horn is also chief creative officer).

The Mulan shift followed Thursday's announcement that Warner Bros. is likewise delaying tentpole Tenet again, this time from July 31 to Aug. 12.

Mulan was first supposed to open on March 27 in North America and much of the rest of the world, including China, but saw its release date shifted to late July after theaters across the world went dark in mid-March.

Caro directed the feature that stars Crystal Liu as Mulan, a woman who disguises herself as a man to spare her elderly father from military service.

As it stood, Mulan would have been the first new Hollywood studio tentpole to hit the big screen once theaters reopened. Those reopening plans are now in doubt.

The Mulan and Tenet shifts were among a handful of release date changes announced late this week as Hollywood continues to grapple with the pandemic. On Friday, Paramount and Skydance said they were pushing back the release of the Tom Clancy adaptation Without Remorse from Oct. 2 to Feb. 26, 2021, while United Artists Releasing is delaying the opening of Bill & Ted Face the Music from Aug. 14 to Aug. 28.