Disney has announced further delays to the release of Mulan and the Avatar sequels.
The live-action Mulan remake, starring Yifei Liu and directed by Niki Caro, was scheduled to premiere in North America on 21 August, after previously being pushed back from July. However, with many cinemas remaining closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the decision has been made to pull the movie from the release schedule indefinitely.
The upcoming four Avatar sequels will also be delayed by a year, beginning with Avatar 2, which will now hit cinemas in December 2022.
Director James Cameron, who recently arrived back on the Avatar set in New Zealand to resume filming, has taken to Instagram to voice his thoughts on the postponement.
“There is no one more disappointed about this delay than me,” he wrote on the official Avatar account. “But I am buoyed by the incredible performances of our cast and the extraordinary work that Weta Digital is doing bringing the world of Pandora and the characters of the film to life.
“Most of all, I am grateful to you, our fans, for your support over the years and I promise that what we bring to cinemas will deliver.”
Cameron then ended his message by writing “thank you” in Na’vi, the language spoken by the inhabitants of the fictional moon Pandora in the movie.
Avatar 3 was previously slated for a December 2023 release, but that has now been changed to 2024, while Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 have been pushed to December 2027 and 2028 respectively.
Taika Waititi’s untitled Star Wars trilogy has also been rescheduled, with the first film in the series now due to hit theatres on 22 December 2023 – a year later than previously planned. The second and third movies are now slated for a 2025 and 2027 release.
On Thursday, Disney executives also removed Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch from their release calendar. The comedy was originally planned to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, before it was cancelled, and most recently had a release date of October.
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