The long-in-production Avatar sequels, as well as the upcoming Star Wars movies, have been pushed back by a full year, Disney has announced via a Variety report. Director James Cameron commented on the announcement with a statement saying the delay was due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“As many of you are aware, due to COVD-19, we were forced into an unexpected lengthy delay in starting the live-action filming we are currently doing in New Zealand,” Cameron said. “What most of you likely do not know is that the pandemic is still preventing us from being allowed to recommence most of our virtual production work on stages in Los Angeles. That work is just as critical to the films as the live-action work.”
The Cameron-directed follow-ups to 2009’s Avatar will now release every other December, with the second entry arriving on December 16, 2022. This means Avatar 3 will debut on December 20, 2024; Avatar 4 will come out on December 18, 2026; and Avatar 5 will hit theatres on December 22, 2028.
“Prior to the COVID-19, everything was on track to bring you the first sequel in December of 2021,” Cameron continued. “Unfortunately, due to the impact that the pandemic has had on our schedule, it is no longer possible for us to make that date.”
Additionally, the trio of Star Wars movies are now expected to drop around Christmas every other year, alternating with the Avatar sequels. The first film in the new set of movies will arrive on December 22, 2023; the second will come out on December 19, 2025, and the final one will drop on December 17, 2027.
Avatar New Release Schedule
- Avatar 2: December 16, 2022
- Avatar 3: December 20, 2024
- Avatar 4: December 18, 2026
- Avatar 5: December 22, 2028
Star Wars New Release Schedule
- New Star Wars Move 1: December 22, 2023
- New Star Wars Movie 2: December 19, 2025
- New Star Wars Movie 3: December 17, 2027
Disney’s blockbuster Christmas release schedule was shaken up as theatres like AMC continue to contend with reopening in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Many tentpole movies, including Disney’s Mulan and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, have been pushed back while theatres figure out the safest way to reopen its doors to the moviegoing public. In fact, Mulan has just been taken off the release calendars entirely.