Disney has decided to postpone the release of “Mulan”, its first movie featuring an all-Asian cast, and closed down its theme parks in Florida, California, and Paris amid the growing concerns of the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
The live-action remake of the 1998 animation “Mulan” – directed by Niki Caro, starring Liu Yifei – was initially set to debut in theaters on 27 March, and already had its red-carpet premiere in Los Angeles on 9 March, CNBC reported on Thursday (12 March).
Its release date will be delayed indefinitely as the studio searches for a new release date. Two other movies, “New Mutants” and “Antlers”, were also delayed from its scheduled release dates.
The release of “Mulan” had also been delayed in China as theaters across the country have been closed down since last month due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in mainland China.
Meanwhile, Disney also announced that it will close its giant theme parks in Florida, California, and Paris at least until the end of March due to the virus outbreak.
“In an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure,” a Disney spokesperson said on Thursday.
Disneyland first announced the closure of its resort in Anaheim beginning Saturday (14 March) after California called for large gatherings to be cancelled to lessen the spread of the pandemic.
The giant 100-acre (40-hectare) attraction in Anaheim is the second-most visited theme park in the world, drawing tens of thousands of visitors everyday. It will remain closed at least until the end of March.
“While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, after carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California’s executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month,” Disney stated.
Shortly after, Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Paris also announced that they would shutter by close of business Sunday (15 March) and remain closed till the end of March. However, the hotels will remain open until further notice.
The Disney Cruise Line will also suspend all new departures beginning Saturday (14 March) until the end of the month. The Walt Disney Company will pay its cast members during the closure period.
All Disney-themed parks in Asia have also closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.