Disney postpones 'Mulan,' 'New Mutants' and 'Antlers' over coronavirus fears

Jen Yamato
Yifei Liu stars in Disney's "Mulan." The release of the live-action blockbuster has now been delayed indefinitely.  (Disney)

Walt Disney Studios has postponed the March 27 release of "Mulan," a source close to the studio confirms, making the action epic the latest Hollywood studio blockbuster release to be disrupted in light of escalating concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

The China-set film directed by Niki Caro is now on hold indefinitely. No new date has been set.

Disney also postponed planned releases of the already much-delayed X-Men franchise entry "The New Mutants," to be released through Fox, and the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror movie "Antlers," a Searchlight title. The studio reportedly is eyeing new potential release dates later this year.

The news came shortly after Walt Disney Co. announced the closures of its Disneyland and California Adventure parks beginning this Saturday through the end of the month.

Earlier in the day Universal announced it will move the planned May 22 release of "F9," the latest sequel in the lucrative "Fast and Furious" franchise, by nearly a full year to April 2021. The studio also postponed the release of horror sequel "A Quiet Place Part II" over mounting fears of coronavirus.

"Mulan" was set to be a high-profile worldwide release for Disney. The live-action retelling of the 1998 Disney animated film of the same name, based on a Chinese folktale, centers around a young woman who defies social conventions and disguises herself as a man to train as a warrior and fight in the Imperial Army.

Yifei Liu stars as Mulan in a cast that includes Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Tzi Ma, Gong Li, Jason Scott Lee, Rosalind Chao and Yoson An. With a reported $200 million budget, the blockbuster was poised to be a significant international moneymaker for Disney — and was already tracking to an expected $85 million opening in the U.S. and Canada — before the global coronavirus pandemic hit.

The film had its red-carpet premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Monday night, where coronavirus concerns were a common topic of conversation among attendees. Cast members sent well-wishes across the world to China, where movie theaters have been closed en masse amid a devastating coronavirus outbreak.

Last week, in the first significant domestic release date change due to coronavirus, MGM, Universal and the Bond producers announced they were delaying the April release of 007 film "No Time to Die" to November.

As of Thursday afternoon, Disney had not announced any changes to the planned May 1 release of its "Black Widow" superhero stand-alone starring Scarlett Johansson. The planned worldwide release of the next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is considered the kickoff to the summer movie season.

Times staff writer Ryan Faughnder contributed to this report.