Due to the coronavirus outbreak, former Disney CEO Bob Iger said the studio may send some of its delayed movies straight to its streaming platform, Disney+, similar to what it recently did with Artemis Fowl.
As previously reported, Disney recently announced new cinematic release dates of many of its upcoming films owing to the global pandemic, pushing back films like "Mulan" and "Black Widow" to later this year. However, as some titles are still in limbo with no new release dates, it's likely that some of Disney's upcoming films will head straight to Disney+.
Disney releases delayed due to COVID-19
In an interview with Barron's, Iger has opened up about the possibility of moving more films to direct launches on the streaming service. "There are some (movies) we've decided to put on Disney Plus," he said, referencing "Artemis Fowl," which was originally planned for a cinematic release but was moved straight to Disney+ due to the ongoing pandemic. Iger added that films like "Frozen 2" and Pixar's latest "Onward" were also added to the streaming platform earlier than scheduled in light of theatre closures.
Iger went on to say that more films originally planned for a theatre release will be sent straight to Disney+ in the future. "In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney Plus," he noted, "but for the most part a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we'll simply wait for slots."
Which films are likely to be moved straight to Disney+?
A "tentpole film" is essentially a studio term used to describe movies that are expected to bring in the big bucks so it's safe to assume that films like Marvel's "Black Widow" and the live-action "Mulan" remake will be released on the big screen before making their way to Disney+.
However, there are a few Disney films that seem like obvious candidates to go straight to Disney+ such as "The One and Only Ivan," an upcoming adaptation of K. A. Applegate's children's book, which revolves around a gorilla (voiced by Sam Rockwell) who lives with other animals in captivity at a shopping mall.
Fox's long-delayed X-Men spin-off "The New Mutants" can also land directly on Disney+. The story follows five young mutants (Magik, Wolfsbane, Cannonball, Sunsport, and Mirage) who are discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will. The other candidates pegged to bypass a theatrical release include, "The Personal History of David Copperfield," the upcoming horror "Antlers," and Amy Adams-starrer psychological thriller, "The Woman in the Window."