After Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, it was evident that there would be a lot of changes coming to The Walt Disney Company movie studios. Little was known as to what creative endeavors would come about due to that huge purchase, but the impacts are now being felt. On Tuesday, Disney and Lucasfilm announced three new Star Wars films — and their release dates — while also confirming delays of all three Avatar sequels.
Variety has confirmed that there are going to be three new films in the Star Wars franchise after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters this December. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is going to complete the 9-film saga that began back in 1977, and the three new films starting in 2022 will be entirely separate stories.
Back in April, Entertainment Weekly reported that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy had revealed that the Star Wars films were going on hiatus after The Rise of Skywalker.
“We’re going to take a hiatus for a couple of years. And we’re taking the time to really look at where this is going from the standpoint of a saga.”
It seems as if she was certainly telling the truth about the hiatus, but she never said it was going to be a long one. The release dates are already on the movie schedule from Disney, and are tentatively slated as follows.
- December 16, 2022.
- December 12, 2024.
- December 18, 2026.
With the announcement of those new movies, Disney also revealed that there were going to be delays in the three sequels for James Cameron’s Avatar.
Avatar 2 was scheduled to hit theaters on December 18, 2020, but that has been officially delayed for a year. The sequel will now hit theaters on December 17, 2021. That movie is now scheduled to open on the date that Avatar 3 was originally slated for, but Avatar 3 has been pushed back to December 22, 2023.
Avatar 4 is now on the release schedule for December 19, 2025, instead of the previous date of December 20, 2024.
Those dates now mean that from 2021 to 2026, Disney will have a huge blockbuster opening each December. Beginning with Avatar 2 in 2021, James Cameron’s films will alternate with Star Wars for a full six years.
These weren’t the only moves made by Disney, as the acquisition of Fox has caused a number of movie release dates to be switched around. With other Marvel movies — and some from Walt Disney Studios — being thrown into the mix, there are going to be a lot of high-budget films coming to fans over the next decade.