Hollywood news banter: Disneyland reopening delayed, studio movies in limbo

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Due to spiking coronavirus numbers, Disneyland will no longer reopen on July 17, as previously announced. No new reopening date has been given. Photo by Margalit Francus. (CC BY 2.0)

Hollywood remains desperate to get back to business, but with COVID-19 cases spiking across the country, any major reopening is likely a long way off. 

Director Christopher Nolan has been adamant about wanting his new film “Tenet” to be the first back in theaters, but Warner Bros. continues to push the release, most recently moving it to August 12. That now makes Disney’s “Mulan” the first major studio film to return to theaters on July 24, but there’s no guarantee that date will hold. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently postponed the opening of movie theaters in New York, and no studio is going to open a film in theaters without New York audiences. 

Disney previously announced that Disneyland would reopen on July 17. But those plans have been put on indefinite hold after some of the theme park’s unions announced plans to protest on the day of reopening to express concerns over employee health and safety.

In other Disney news, the company says it will overhaul the ride Splash Mountain, which is based on the 1946 movie “Song of the South,” a film so racist that former Disney CEO Bob Iger made sure it would never be available for purchase or streaming. At both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, the ride will be rethemed around the 2009 animated film “The Princess and the Frog,” which featured Disney’s first Black princess. 

In more instances of reevaluating past decisions, actresses Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell say they will no longer be the voices of biracial animated characters. Slate voiced a multracial character on “Big Mouth,” and Bell did the same on “Central Park.”

Credits

Guest:
Matthew Belloni - Editor - @MattBelloni

Host:
Kim Masters

Producers:
Kaitlin Parker, Kevin Tidmarsh