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Disney is pushing the release of its upcoming live-action tentpole Mulan amid growing concerns around the coronavirus, the studio said Thursday. The movie was set to hit theaters in North America on March 27.
Also being pushed is the long-delayed New Mutants, which was due out April 3 via 20th Century Studios, and the Guillermo del Toro-produced Antlers, which was set for an April 17 release via Searchlight Pictures.
Disney is looking into new release dates for all of the titles later this year.
Mulan director Niki Caro posted on her personal instagram about the release date push, writing, “We are so excited to share this film with the world, but given the current ever-shifting circumstances we are all experiencing, unfortunately, we have to postpone the worldwide release of Mulan for now. Our hearts are with everyone the world over who is affected by this virus, and we hope that Mulan’s fighting spirit will continue to inspire those who are working so hard to keep us all safe.”
Mulan is the latest studio release to be pushed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Universal postponed the ninth Fast & Furious film by a year, while Paramount dealyed the release of the Issa Rae-starring comedy The Lovebirds and A Quiet Place Part II.
While no theaters are yet closed in the U.S. because of the coronavirus, there is growing concern that some cinemas could go dark in areas where cases of COVID-19 are proliferating, or where business has slowed. That is in addition to the ongoing blackout on moviegoing in China. (Mulan did not yet have a Chinese release date.)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom late Wednesday recommended canceling or postponing gatherings of 250 or more people “at least through March” as the state grapples with the coronavirus outbreak. The recommendation directly impacts larger auditoriums, which may have to stagger seating.
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Sterling K. Brown