Disney shuffles movie schedule due to virus, 'Mulan' set for July

FILE PHOTO: A poster of the Walt Disney Studios’ “Mulan” movie, which was going to be released on March 27, towers over an empty Hollywood Boulevard during the global outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co will release the live-action epic “Mulan” in movie theaters in July and Marvel’s “Black Widow” in November, the company said on Friday as it reshuffled a schedule disrupted by the global coronavirus outbreak.

Among other changes, Disney postponed the release of a new “Indiana Jones” movie by one year to July 2022, the company said in a statement.

Movie theaters around the world have been closed and film production has been put on hold to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Hollywood studios are optimistic that theaters will be back in business by late July. Disney set the debut of “Mulan,” which was supposed to reach theaters last month, for July 24. ViacomCBS Inc’s Paramount Pictures moved a new animated “SpongeBob” movie to July 31, and AT&T Inc’s Warner Bros said it planned to release “Wonder Woman 1984” on Aug. 14.

“Black Widow,” starring Scarlett Johansson, had been scheduled to kick off the summer blockbuster season, traditionally Hollywood’s most lucrative period at theaters, on May 1. It will now debut Nov. 6, a date that had been reserved for Marvel’s “The Eternals.”

Disney moved “Eternals” to Feb. 12, 2021, and postponed several other Marvel movies by a few months. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” was rescheduled for May 21, 2021, followed by “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” on Nov. 5, 2021, and “Thor: Love and Thunder” on Feb. 18, 2022.

The debut of “Jungle Cruise,” a live-action adventure starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt,” was delayed from this summer to July 30, 2021.

Disney also said it would scrap a planned theatrical release of family film “Artemis Fowl” and instead distribute it on the Disney+ streaming service at an unspecified date.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Leslie Adler and Marguerita Choy

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