Disney Sets New Release Date Changes for Mulan, Indiana Jones, and the MCU

Over the course of the past few days, major studios have delayed many new release dates due to the COVID-19 crisis sweeping the world. With most movie theaters closed down and many people ordered to stay home, the summer movie season basically has been canceled and many studios are now left with films that they need new dates for. All the major studios are shifting their plans with new dates, causing films to be bumped back to cover films that might not even make their projected original shoot dates. This domino effect will be felt for years to come. We take a look at all the studio release date changes in the wake of Disney releasing a massive updated list.

Wonder Woman 1984 was moved to August 14, 2020, and WB pulled In the Heights from the schedule with no new date announced. Candyman, originally set for release in June of 2020, will now open in September.

Sony completely ducked out of summer 2020. Ghostbusters and Morbius, both set for July of this year, will now open on March 5th and March 19th respectively. They pushed Uncharted back to October 8, 2021, and Peter Rabbit 2 was delayed for a second time to January 15, 2021.

Paramount moved three major release dates. Spongebob: Sponge on the Run will now open on July 31, 2020, which was the date originally set for Morbius. Top Gun Maverick, their big summer movie, will now open on December 23, 2020. A Quiet Place 2, which would have already opened on March 20, will now open on Labor Day weekend (September 4), and could be a major box office winner for what is normally a dead date.

Universal had previously delayed F9: The Fast Saga back to April 2021 (11 months away from its original date). They also pulled Minions: the Rise of Gru, originally set for July 3rd, 2020 back a whole year to July 2, 2021. That had a domino effect, pushing Sing 2 back to December 22, 2021. Sing 2 now takes the place originally set for Wicked, which is now pulled from the schedule with no new date.

Disney set a lot of changes for their slate, as well as 20th Century Fox films. The MCU schedule has been shifted back one film completely, and has set release dates for recently delayed films like Mulan and set one of their planned theatrical films as a Disney+ exclusive.

Artemis Fowl-Disney+

Artemis Fowl, which was dated for May 29, 2020, has now decided to abandon the theatrical window for the film and premiere it on Disney+. This makes a certain level of sense. The reaction to the trailer was more on the negative side and with a reported budget of $125 million it was likely going to get crushed in the summer movie season on the theatrical side. Yet releasing it now on the streaming service, Disney can put it off as a tax write off because they will never quite know how much money was lost. Also being a big movie premiere on Disney+ in a time where people are required to stay home and need new content to watch, this could actually turn into a case where more people would watch the movie than who would have had it come out in theaters.

Mulan-July 24, 2020

Mulan‘s original release date has passed (March 27, 2020), and the film even had its Hollywood premiere. Disney was not going to sit on this film for very long, and now Disney is hopefully positioning it as the first big ‘summer’ movie. They are hoping theaters are open by then and people want to get out of the house and go out to a theater. Mulan now occupies the original release date held by The Jungle Cruise.

The French Dispatch-October 16, 2020

Wes Anderson’s new film, The French Dispatch, was originally set as a summer movie alternative, with the original release date for July 24, 2020, but now will be postponed to October 16, 2020. It opens the same weekend as Universal Studios’ Halloween Kills. Disney and Fox will now hope to create an Oscar campaign for the film.

Black Widow-November 6, 2020

Black Widow had the original coveted first weekend of May that Marvel has owned since summer 2007 for a May 1, 2020 release date. Yet Disney and Marvel decided to delay the release date and now have set it for November 6, 2020, which was the original release date for The Eternals. This domino effect now pushes every MCU film back one date on the release schedule (except for Spider-Man, which is a Sony decision to make).

Black Widow being the only MCU film for 2020 makes it the first time only one MCU film per year was released in theaters since 2012 with The Avengers. It is also the longest wait between MCU films since the 23-month gap between The Incredible Hulk in 2008 and Iron Man 2 in 2010. Black Widow will be arriving in theaters 16 months after Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Free Guy-December 11, 2020

The Ryan Reynolds action-comedy for 20th Century Fox was supposed to be the studio’s big 4th of July summer blockbuster opening on July 3, 2020, going up against Minions: The Rise of Gru. Now both films have moved out of that date. It will now open in December as a holiday comedy in a crowded season.

Odder is that there are two more 20th Century Fox films being released in December. Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story is still slated for December 18 and Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel will open on December 25. Disney did not move those films from the schedule, so it appears they are going to stack them all on top of each other.

The Eternals-February 12, 2021

Black Widow bumped Eternals from its November 6, 2020 release date to February 12, 2021: the date originally set for Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The beginning of the year has been a good area for Marvel to release their newer characters (Black Panther opened in February, Captain Marvel in March) and could make the Eternals one of the first big films of 2021.

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings-May 7, 2021

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings originally had February 12, 2021, to coincide with the first day of Chinese New Year. Now it opens in the coveted first weekend of May that Marvel likes to release their films. Marvel tends to save this date for their biggest films. The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man 3, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. have all opened on this date. The last time Marvel put a new hero in this coveted date was Thor back in 2011 (ten years to the date when Shang Chi opens).

The Jungle Cruise-July 30, 2021

Jungle Cruise was originally supposed to open on July 24, 2020, but with Mulan taking that date it has caused Disney to push Jungle Cruise back a whole year, now closing out the month of July next year. It will now open a week before The Suicide Squad (assuming that film keeps its original date and doesn’t get moved up to the release date for The Batman, a film that has had to shut down filming for the time being).

This is the second time the Jungle Cruise has been pushed back. It was originally set for October 11, 2019 (which turned out to be the date the first trailer premiered) but was pushed back to make room for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness-November 5, 2021

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was originally set to kick start the summer movie season of 2021 with that coveted May release date, yet with Shang Chi taking its place Doctor Strange moves back 6 months. Now it’ll open a little over five years from the date of the first Doctor Strange (November 4, 2016).

This date makes a certain amount of sense due to director Scott Derrickson departing the project in January of 2020. Sam Raimi was in talks to direct the film but still no official word has been made by the studio. It appeared the film was still in pre-production and was supposed to start shooting in May of this year, but as all productions have been shut down making that May release date was unrealistic.

Thor: Love and Thunder-February 18, 2022

Thor: Love and Thunder was supposed to open on May 5, 2021, before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness bumped it back. Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok both opened in November and found great success, but releasing Thor in February now gives the film two edges. The title and the hint that Valkyrie will be looking for her queen in the film suggest that romance and love will be a major part of this film so a prime Valentine’s day release makes a great deal of sense. It also makes for the first big ‘event’ film of 2022.

Black Panther 2-May 5, 2022

Black Panther 2 was the only Disney MCU film not affected by the change and will still open on May 5, 2022. That prime first week of May makes Black Panther the first film of the summer movie season. It is also the first film in Marvel Phase 5. Thor now taking the unmarked February 18, 2022 date (that was most likely saved for another film) means this is the second time Black Panther has followed directly after a Thor film, as Thor: Ragnarok was the last film before Black Panther.

Captain Marvel Sequel-July 8, 2022

Previously slated for in-development, Marvel now announced that they have an official date for a sequel to Captain Marvel: July 8, 2022. One has to wonder if the original plan was for February 18, 2022, but now with a prime summer movie release date (the original film opened in March), it means Marvel Studios is confident with the franchise potential.

The sequels to Captain Marvel and Black Panther opening in the same year also means that they will be having sequels to two films that both grossed over $1 billion dollars at the worldwide box office. These two franchises and characters are essentially the new faces of the MCU, taking the roles left over by Iron Man and Captain America, and one expects both characters will have major presences and ramifications in the MCU moving forward.

This also means that 2022 is all sequels and established franchises for Marvel. They typically like to try one sequel paired with a new character or concept each year (Captain America and Guardians in 2014, Avengers and Ant-Man in 2015, Captain America and Doctor Strange in 2016), so this is the first time since 2013 (Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World) where it is all established players. This leaves 2021 with an even split. Two new franchises in the beginning (the Eternals and Shang Chi) with the two established faces bringing up the rear towards the end of the year (Spider-Man and Doctor Strange).

Indiana Jones 5-July 29, 2022

Lastly, Disney moved the release date of Indiana Jones 5 for the fourth time. Now set for July 29, 2022. The film had previously been slated for July release dates in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Steven Spielberg is not directing this installment and it appears they are still looking for a director, with James Mangold being the top of the studio’s list. By the time this film hits theaters, it will have been 14 years since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Harrison Ford will be in his 80’s. But like the man said ‘it’s not the years, it’s the mileage.’


There were a few names not present on the release schedule. New Mutants, a film delayed four times now, was not given a release date. Neither was Fox’s The Woman in the Window or Fox Searchlight’s The Personal History of David Copperfield.

The other odd piece was that Disney still has the Pixar film Soul dated for June 19, 2020. Pixar film Onward (which you can now watch on Disney+) was one of the first films really hit by the COVID-19 crisis, so it is odd that they have decided to keep Soul in June. Disney seems to be hoping theaters will be open in June, landing on the optimistic side. Yet they still have time to move the release date if they need to.

What are your thoughts on this new release slate? What films are you most excited to see? Do you see any more competition or complications from this? Let us know in the comments below.