Why has the release of Finding Michael been delayed? Everything we know Spencer Matthews' Disney+ documentary

The film was set for release on 3 March but never appeared on the streaming service

Why has the release of Finding Michael been delayed?
(Image credit: Disney+)

Viewers logging onto Disney+ to watch the newly released documentary Finding Michael on Friday [3 March] were left disappointed when searches failed to bring up the show. Disney+ has since released a statement apologising for the delay, promising the much-anticipated film will be released in the 'near future.'

Finding Michael is set to follow reality TV star Spencer Matthews, of Made In Chelsea fame, as he begins a mission to recover his brother’s body from Mount Everest. Spencer’s brother, Michael Matthews, was just 22-years-old when disappeared in 1999 while climbing the infamous mountain. He went missing just three hours after reaching the summit when a storm hit the mountain. 

Spencer was only 10-years-old at the time of his brother's death.

The Disney+ documentary sees Spencer return to Mount Everest with British adventurer Bear Grylls and mountaineer Nims Purja, and follows the star as he attempts to recover Michael's body.

The documentary was meant to be released on Disney+ on Friday [3rd March], but the film failed to premiere on the streaming site. Here we share why the release of Finding Michael has been delayed and detail everything we know Spencer Matthews' Disney+ documentary.

Why has the release of Finding Michael been delayed?

While there has been no official stated reason for the delay of Disney+'s Finding Michael, reports have claimed that the streamer pulled the documentary for re-editing because it shows dead bodies. The Mirror reports that the film, which took two years to create, was pulled just hours before its set release due to fears that "the footage of bodies might be deemed insensitive." 

Unfortunately, filming on Mount Everest means that filming the bodies of deceased climbers is inevitable. According to Manchester Evening News, more than 200 of the 310-plus adventurers to die on Everest are still on the deadly slopes. Despite this reality, the film is now reportedly being re-edited to cut scenes showing the bodies of climbers on the mountain.

A source told The Mirror, that Spencer was angry about the sudden decision. They explained, “This was a real disaster. After endless viewings, two official screenings and a entire campaign building up to a release on March 3 it was decided with hours to go that footage of bodies might be deemed insensitive.

“Everest is often too dangerous to recover those who died in the death zone, and the film reflects that. The fact this was only raised with hours to go before the release – and public screenings – is astonishing.

“So the premiere date was just dropped . Meanwhile, Spencer is doing interviews in which he has to fudge the date. He was absolutely furious and there have been some very heated conversations this week. This has been two years of Spencer’s life and it isn’t just a documentary for him – it’s his brother.”

Disney+ has not commented on the rumours, instead issuing a statement on Saturday [4th March] that thanked viewers for their patience and promised that the documentary would be released in 'the near future.'

Spencer shared a similar message on his Instagram Story explaining that the "debut date has shifted" to sometime in the 'near future.'

When will Finding Michael be released on Disney Plus?

There is no new launch date yet confirmed for the release of Finding Michael on Disney+. Both Spencer Mathews and Disney+ have promised that the show will be available in the 'near future.' As soon as a date is set, the streaming service promised to update viewers, so keep an eye on their Twitter page. 

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for Goodto.com. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.