The Ongoing Coronavirus Outbreak Has Delayed Disney's Theatrical Release Of 'Mulan'

The theatrical release of one of this month's most anticipated films has been postponed due to the recent global coronavirus pandemic. Last week, Disney announced it will delay the release of Mulan. The news comes as both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have urged communities to practice social distancing and cancel or postpone in-person events that will see 50 people or more gathered together in one place.

Initially set to hit theaters across the United States on March 27, Disney has said it will postpone the theatrical release of its upcoming live-action Mulan remake out of an abundance of caution and it's not clear right now when the new release date will be. Directed by Niki Caro, the film stars Liu Yifei as its title character and is expected to follow the ancient legend of Hua Mulan more closely than its animated 1998 predecessor.

"We are so excited to share this film with the world, but given the current ever-shifting circumstances we are all experiencing, unfortunately we have to postpone the worldwide release of Mulan for now," Caro said in a message to fans shared late last week. "Our hearts are with everyone the world over who is affected by this virus, and we hope that Mulan's fighting spirit will continue to inspire those who are working so hard to keep us all safe."

According to Variety, Mulan's international release has also been delayed in some countries due to coronavirus. While the studio has yet to announce a new release date for the film, Disney's decision to push back Mulan's release falls in line with health officials' recommendations for social distancing.

On Sunday, the CDC cautioned that large events and mass gatherings could contribute to the spread of COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus. Health officials urged communities and organizers to postpone or cancel any in-person event that would see at least 50 people come together, including conferences, festivals, parades, sporting events, weddings, concerts, and other assemblies for the next eight weeks. WHO has also urged countries around the world to begin practicing social distancing, which is defined as increasing the amount of physical space between people, to limit the spread of illness. Health experts recommend putting at least six feet between you and others to quantify as good social distancing. Movie theaters typically have a maximum capacity well over 100 and seat patrons shoulder to shoulder.

Mulan reportedly isn't the only Disney film to be impacted by the recent coronavirus outbreak. According to The Guardian, Disney is also delaying the release of The New Mutants, a superhero adventure the studio acquired when it bought out Fox, and Antlers, a sci-fi horror film that stars Jesse Plemons and was produced by Guillermo del Toro.

Disney has said it will announce potential new releases dates for all three films at a later time, meaning that, at least for now, it's unclear when the new Mulan will hit theaters.

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