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Disney delays Avatar quadrilogy, dates three live-action Star Wars films


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We're not sure when Fandango will start pre-selling tickets to 2027's Avatar 5, but...

How much Disney-Marvel-Fox can you possibly stomach over the next eight years?
Enlarge / How much Disney-Marvel-Fox can you possibly stomach over the next eight years?
Disney / Aurich Lawson

As part of the recent fusing of multiple movie empires, Disney made a massive announcement of film release dates on Tuesday relating to everything under its corporate, cinematic sun.


And we mean everything.


Let's start with the biggest official news of the document: every film in the upcoming James Cameron Avatar quadrilogy (yes, four more Avatar films) has been bumped at least one full year, with Avatar 2 now slated to launch on December 17, 2021. That day, by the way, was Avatar 3's original release date, but that third entry has now been bumped a full two years, to December 2023.


Avatar 4 gets a one-year delay to December 2025, and Avatar 5 will remain in production an additional two years with a scheduled launch of December 17, 2027. Assuming traditional movie theaters even exist by then.


If you're assuming lightsabers or superheroes are sweeping in to take that December 2020 slot, think again. Disney doesn't appear to have an action-tentpole film primed to replace that December 2020 slot in its calendar; instead, an "untitled Marvel movie" will launch on November 6, 2020.


Disney's recent pledge that Star Wars would take a theatrical break after this year's Rise of Skywalker has been confirmed by this schedule, and it's a remarkable one: three years. If this release schedule holds, we won't see a live-action Star Wars film in theaters again until 2022, when a slate of three untitled, live-action films will release every two years in December. Meaning, "untitled Star Wars" will land in theaters on December 16, 2022, December 20, 2024, and December 18, 2026. Last we heard, this was the live-action film trilogy that Disney CEO Bob Iger teased in late 2017 with Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson at the helm.


And while we're on the subject of Lucasarts: that Indiana Jones live-action sequel announced in 2016, with Harrison Ford attached, is still floating around in Disney's release schedule, only now marked with a release date of July 9, 2021.


We're not sure exactly how the Marvel Cinematic Universe will shuffle around post-Endgame, but we at least know Disney has no shortage of Marvel films heading to theaters. In addition to April 2020's launch of The New Mutants, an X-Men film helmed by Fox, eight "untitled Marvel film" projects are slated to launch in the years 2020-2022. Unlike its Star Wars and Avatar arms, Disney is apparently choosing to be conservative about making superhero release-date promises any further than that. (Sorry to everyone hoping for some version of Iron Man in 2027.) As a reminder, Sony is handling the launch of this July's Spider-man: Far From Home, and it may very well have other Marvel-related theatrical projects in the works.


Pixar isn't going anywhere, either, with four untitled projects scheduled between 2020-2022 (and none slated for release dates after that).


The rest of the list includes a variety of already announced projects under the Disney and Fox umbrellas, including the live-action YA book adaptation Artemis Fowl (now delayed to May 2020), a feature-length version of the TV series Bob's Burgers (July 2020), an animated version of the fantasy graphic novel Nimona (March 2021), and a CGI-animated film of a wholly new IP, Ron's Gone Wrong, from new production house Locksmith Animation (November 2020).


This list doesn't reflect the fact that Disney has plans for new series from every arm of its production empire in the works for Disney+, the new online video-streaming service slated to launch in November of this year. That may very well be where more side-stories and one-offs in the Star Wars universe land, to avoid repeats of underwhelming fan response to releases like Solo: A Star Wars Story.


Source: Disney delays Avatar quadrilogy, dates three live-action Star Wars films (Ars Technica)

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