Disney Suspends Production on Movies, Including 'Little Mermaid' Live-Action Remake Amid Coronavirus

Walt Disney Studios has suspended production on almost every movie being filmed at the moment due to the coronavirus outbreak. The movies affected include the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, which only started filming earlier this month in London. Peter Pan & Wendy and a new sequel to Honey, I Shrunk The Kids were in pre-production, but those projects have also been postponed.

Production on Ridley Scott's period drama The Last Duel and Guillermo Del Toro's Nightmare Alley and the Home Alone reboot has also been halted.

"While there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our productions, after considering the current environment and the best interests of our cast and crew, we have made the decision to pause production on some of our live-action films for a short time," a Disney spokesperson said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter Friday. "We will continue to assess the situation and restart as soon as feasible."

On Thursday, Disney's Marvel announced production on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was put on hold after director Destin Daniel Cretton self-isolated under advisement from a doctor. The film is in production in Australia. Cretton has a newborn baby and was tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, so Marvel chose to halt first unit production until he gets the results, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

"As many of you know, Destin, our director, has a new born baby," Marvel said in a statement to the Shang-Chi crew. "He wanted to exercise additional caution given the current environment and decided to get tested for Covid-19 today. He is currently self-isolating under the recommendation of his doctor. While he waits for the results of the test, we are suspending 1st unit production in an abundance of caution until he gets the results this coming week. Second unit and off production will continue as normal. We will reach out to everyone by Tuesday for the latest update."

Sources told THR second unit and other production aspects are continuing on Shang-Chi. The movie, based on the character created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin, will be released on Feb. 12, 2021. Simu Liu stars in the title role, along with Tony Leung and Awkwafina.

Disney has also delayed all its movie releases for the rest of March and April. Mulan, which was supposed to be released on March 27, and New Mutants, which was scheduled for April 3, have both been postponed indefinitely. Antlers, a horror movie produced by Del Toro, was also supposed to be released in April but has been delayed. Two major May releases, Marvel's Black Widow and Artemis Fowl, are still set to be released on May 1 and May 29, respectively.


Every Disney theme park around the world will also be shut down by the end of this weekend. The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida and Disneyland Paris in France are both set to close at the end of the day on Sunday. The two Disneyland Resort parks will be closed starting Saturday through the end of the month. Shanghai Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland were closed in January.

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