Disney Removes ‘Mulan,’ ‘French Dispatch’ from Calendar, Delays ‘The Last Duel’

     July 23, 2020

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Disney has removed its live-action remake of Mulan and Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch from its theatrical release calendar, the studio announced Thursday.

It’s unclear what will come of both films, which have wildly different budgets. Niki Caro‘s epic Mulan remake cost $200 million and Disney has been reluctant to release the film on its nascent streaming service Disney+ or on premium VOD at an estimated cost of $20-$25. Both scenarios would seem to be in play now, especially since the film has long been expected to gross more overseas than at the domestic box office. Meanwhile, The French Dispatch was always unlikely to be a blockbuster, and may make more sense as a PVOD release that will still allow itself to compete for Oscars, since it’s sure to be a contender in major categories.

Additionally, Disney has delayed Ridley Scott‘s period drama The Last Duel and Scott Cooper‘s horror movie Antlers. The latter film stars Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons, and will now arrive in theaters in February 19, 2021. Meanwhile, The Last Duel boasts a star-studded cast including Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Adam Driver and Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), and that film will now hit theaters on Oct. 15, 2021. That movie had previously been slated to open in limited release on Christmas Day before going wide on Jan. 8.

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Image via Fox Searchlight

Elsewhere, the murder mystery Death on the Nile and Fox Searchlight’s The Personal History of David Copperfield have both been pushed back two weeks, with the latter film starring Dev Patel moving from Aug. 14 to Aug. 28, 2020, and Kenneth Branagh‘s sequel moving from Oct. 9 to Oct. 23, 2020. Meanwhile, The Empty Man has moved from Aug. 7 to Dec. 4, 2020.

Finally, Disney has removed a pair of untitled Fox films slated for Oct. 1, 2021 and Oct. 22, 2021 from its schedule, while the untitled Disney live-action movie slated for Nov. 19, 2021 has moved to Dec. 17, 2021.

One film left out of today’s massive release date shift was The New Mutants, which must mean that it remains slated for theatrical release on Aug. 28. Clearly, Disney believes theaters will be open by then, since the studio dated The Personal History of David Copperfield for the same day, likely assuming that those two films appeal to very different audiences.

In other news, Disney also delayed the release of all four Avatar sequels as well as a trio of new Star Wars movies. Click here to read about the latter story.

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