With ongoing COVID-19 pandemic making reopening of movie theaters unlikely, on Thursday, Walt Disney Co postponed the release of Mulan indefinitely. Top Gun: Maverick, the highly-waited sequel to the Tom Cruise starrer Top Gun, has been delayed to July 2, 2021, from December 23, 2020, by ViacomCBS Inc's Paramount Pictures.

Scheduled to hit theaters in March, Mulan has been postponed numerous times as several cinemas remain shut due to the coronavirus pandemic. More recently, the live-action adaptation of 1998 animated film by the same name, was set to play across screens on August 21.

A Disney representative said, "It's become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during this global health crisis. Today that means pausing our release plans for 'Mulan' as we assess how we can most effectively bring this film to audiences around the world."

Follows the Delay of Tenet

Mulan
Disney's Mulan Twitter/Liu Yifei

Mulan's delay follows Warner Bros decision to postpone the August release of Christopher Nolan thriller Tenet. The two films were seen as theaters' best chance to salvage part of the lucrative summer season. The AMC and Cineworld movie theater chains on Thursday pushed back the reopening date for their US theaters to at least mid-August from the end of July.

Sequels to Avatar and Star Wars Delayed as Well

Disney also said it had delayed the next film installments from two of its biggest franchises, Avatar and Star Wars, by one year as the novel coronavirus has disrupted production. The Avatar sequel is now set to debut in theaters in December 2022, and the next Star Wars movie in December 2023.

The follow-up to James Cameron's 2009 blockbuster, that is the second highest-grossing film of all time, Avatar 2 had faced numerous delays even before the coronavirus outbreak. At one time it had been expected to reach theaters in 2014. Disney has not released details on the next Star Wars film.

(With inputs from agencies)