Sorry, 'Mulan' Fans, the Live Action Film Isn't Showing in Theaters This Year as Planned
Disney has decided for the highly anticipated movie to go straight to digital release instead
As if we needed more reasons to say—nay, shout—that Covid-19 sucks.
Hollywood has suffered yet another big loss due to the pandemic, and this time, it's at the expense of Disney fans who've waited months on end to see the live action remake of 90s animated classic, Mulan. The global film industry has been hit incredibly hard by the health crisis, with many projects coming to an indefinite pause, suffocating from budget cuts, or most painfully, getting axed altogether.
Fortunately, for the big-budget movie that was projected to make waves at the box office this spring, filming had wrapped up long before the coronavirus entered our collective consciousness and was spared a sadder fate. It was scheduled for a worldwide release on March 27, giving the film's new and old fans alike something to look forward to.
But this global pandemic had other plans.
The beginning of the pandemic's global spread coincided with the film's release date, forcing it to be rescheduled to hit cinemas at a later date—or at least, that's all that the film's executive team would be necessary.
Mulan was rescheduled to premiere in July. And then it was moved again, this time to August. It was a futile attempt to capture North America's summertime moviegoers and still make some semblance of ticket sales profits, but alas, making it to the big screen just wasn't in the cards.
Finally, on August 5, the film's execs had no choice but to swallow the bitter pill. As difficult as it was for them, they finalized the decision to no longer screen the film in cinemas, at all, anywhere in the world, and instead bring it straight to digital.
It's a painful blow for cast, crew, and execs alike considering that promotion for the film began as early as August 2018. No one could have predicted that two years later, a health crisis would be the film industry's biggest enemy.
So, where will Mulan be available, you might ask?
It's set to go straight to Disney+ on September 4, but there's a clincher—those already subscribed to the streaming service have to pay another fee to see the film, a barrier to viewing that hasn't exactly been well-received.
Making things more complicated for the film is the fact that its lead, Liu Yifei, found herself in hot water last year when she expressed support for Hong Kong police amidst instances of police brutality at the height of the city's protests against the Hong Kong Extradition Bill. The piece of legislation affords China more political, economic, and social control over the independent city.
Political activists called for a boycott of the film with this as a basis.
We can only hope that Mulan, a story about a woman defying all odds and defeating an undefeatable enemy, maintains enough support to make an impression once it arrives on people's mobile phones, desktops, and home theaters.
Shall we get the microwave popcorn ready?
Lead images from @mulan @yosonosoy