Disney Delays the Release of Star Wars and Avatar Sequels

Here on Earth, humanity continues to fight the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. But sadly, it looks like the pandemic has extended its reach to far-flung, fictional planets as well. Variety is reporting that the studio has chosen to reschedule the release dates of several upcoming sci-fi sequels. New entries in the Star Wars and Avatar franchises will arrive in theaters later than expected.

Disney and Lucasfilm were previously hoping to launch a new series of Star Wars films in December 2022. However, those plans have changed. The first installment in that series will instead hit the big screen on December 22, 2023. It will be followed by two sequels on December 19, 2025, and December 27, 2027. The report doesn’t specify which filmmaker(s) is presiding over these films, but it could very well be Star Wars: The Last Jedi helmer Rian Johnson, who remains attached to develop his own trilogy set in a galaxy far, far away.

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A year before Star Wars returns to theaters, fans can expect the long-awaited premiere of James Cameron’s Avatar 2. Cameron’s follow-up to his record-breaking 2009 phenomenon was originally supposed to bow on December 17, 2021. Unfortunately, Disney has now pushed back its debut to December 16, 2022. This will obviously postpone the release dates of the next three films in the Avatar saga. Those films will now arrive on December 20, 2024 (Avatar 3), December 18, 2026 (Avatar 4), and December 22, 2028 (Avatar 5).

With a new Avatar or Star Wars movie arriving every year starting in 2022, it looks like Disney aims to dominate the holiday box office season for the next decade. But right now, the film industry remains in a state of flux due to the ongoing health crisis, particularly when it comes to when theaters will reopen. AMC, the world’s largest theater chain, recently announced plans to open their doors in “mid-to-late August.” Regardless, it’s entirely possible that they could move these goalposts again.

What do you make of these latest release date shuffles for upcoming Star Wars and Avatar films? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!

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