The Mouse House was busy today and moved its live-action Mulan retelling to 2020, while at the same time claiming release dates for untitled Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pixar, and live-action fairy tale films all the way through to 2023. Ironically enough, Disney’s biggest release date change of the day was also its smallest – with the company and Marvel Studios moving Avengers: Infinity War up to a simultaneous worldwide release at the end of April, a week ahead of its previously-scheduled domestic debut.
Disney initially delayed Mulan from a November 2018 release to 2019 last summer at the 2017 D23 Expo. The live-action rendition of the centuries old Chinese legend is a loose reimagining of the studio’s 1998 animated adaptation, and has Niki Caro (Whale Rider, The Zookeeper’s Wife) attached to direct. Liu Yifei will lead what Disney promised will be a cast composed of Asian and/or Asian-American actors, after the project found itself mired in controversy when it was discovered that an early script draft included a white male sidekick for Mulan.
Mulan is now scheduled to hit theaters on March 27, 2020, where it will open against Paramount’s as-yet untitled new live-action G.I. Joe movie. Disney also went ahead and claimed release dates for several other fairy tale retellings and live-action movies for the next five years; including, two more in 2019 (October 4 and November 8), four more in 2020 (February 14, May 29, October 9, and December 23), five more in 2021 (February 12, May 28, July 9, October 8, and December 22), five more in 2022 (May 27, July 8, October 7, November 4 and 16), and one more in 2023 (February 17).
In addition to all that, Disney staked out release date for six more Phase 4 MCU movies; including, three in 2021 (May 7, July 30, and November 5) and three more in 2022 (February 18, May 6, and July 29). The Mouse House further went ahead and claimed dates for three more Pixar animated films; on March 6, 2020 (a week earlier than its previous March 13 date), March 18, 2022, and June 17, 2022. Last, but not least, the studio pulled the Anna Kendrick Christmas comedy Noelle from its theatrical release slate, and now plans to release the film as a Disney Streaming Original Movie instead.
With so many IPs and brands under its umbrella now, Disney does indeed need to be extra vigilante about claiming and coordinating releases dates for its films well ahead of time. There are several known possibilities for both the untitled Phase 4 MCU movies and the many live-action Disney films scheduled today, varying from Black Panther 2 to Ridley Scott’s The Merlin Saga. The Pixar movies are more of a mystery by comparison, but that’s encouraging because it means at least some of them will be original offerings (read: non-sequels/prequels) from the beloved animation studio.
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