Disney is on the list of film studios affected by the pandemic, announcing today that all Star Wars and Avatar films scheduled between 2021 and 2027 will be delayed one year. Before this announcement, a new Avatar movie was set to be released next year, and the next Star Wars installment was scheduled for 2022. Now it sounds like those will be delayed until at least 2022 and 2023 respectively.
“Prior to the COVID-19, everything was on track to bring you the first sequel in December of 2021,” said Avatar producer James Cameron. “Unfortunately, due to the impact that the pandemic has had on our schedule it is no longer possible for us to make that date,” he said. “There is no one more disappointed about this delay than me.”
To add to the disappointment, Disney also announced its live-action Mulan scheduled for August is being scrubbed from the calendar with no future date confirmed.
“Over the last few months, it’s become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during this global health crisis, and today that means pausing our release plans for ‘Mulan’ as we assess how we can most effectively bring this film to audiences around the world,” a Walt Disney Studios spokesperson said in a statement.
Mulan was originally scheduled with a March premiere that kept getting delayed because of the pandemic. It joins other films like Christopher Nolan’s Tenet that have been put on hold with no release date in sight. The lack of movies makes it impossible for theaters to plan on reopening with nothing to draw in viewers, and no theaters mean movies can’t get a box office release. It’s become a bitter cycle during 2020.
As of right now, AMC Theaters is postponing its plan to reopen in the US in “mid-to-late August,” but dates aren’t set in stone and are likely to be revised again.