This is bound to happen: Disney’s Mulan has shifted its release date in the US from July 25 to Aug 21.
In Singapore, the Chinese legend-based epic, starring Liu Yifei as a young woman who disguises as a dude to stand in for her elderly father in the military, will be out on Aug 20.
This is the second time, the US$200 million (S$280 mil) production has been delayed. It was initially slated to open on March 27 but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the studio to pull it from the schedule.
In a statement (as per Variety), Alan Horn, co-chairman and chief creative officer, and Alan Bergman, co-chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, said, “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.”
Disney’s latest revision came shortly after Warner Bros pushed Tenet from July 31 to Aug 12. It was not an unexpected move given the recent surges in COVID-19 cases and that cinemas in New York and Los Angeles have yet to reopen.
Also, in China — a major market for Mulan, given the subject matter — cinemas haven’t been given the go-ahead to restart. After a two-month closure, 500 cinemas reopened in March but were ordered to shutter again within a week.
According to the trade reports, there’s another reason for the date change. After Tenet's August move, Mulan became the first major movie to welcome audiences back to the cinema. Industry insiders say Disney didn’t want Mulan to be the test case for new movies amid the pandemic. That honour now goes to Tenet.
For now, that is. To be continued…