Avatar Sequels Delayed, New Star Wars Movies Dated
A disturbance in The Force, a cry from Eywa, or an insidious Kang plan? Either way, the Walt Disney Company announced a major reshuffling of its movie release calendar, affecting some of its largest franchises including Avatar, Star Wars, and Marvel.
In the most substantial change, the highly-anticipated “Avatar” sequels have seen significant delays. Originally slated for December 2024, “Avatar 3” has been pushed back by a year to December 2025. The next two planned installments have experienced even more dramatic delays. “Avatar 4” has been pushed to December 2029, and “Avatar 5” to December 2031. This effectively extends the “Avatar” saga over the first four decades of the century, marking an unprecedented timeline for a movie series.
The delays likely underscore the complex production nature of the films. “Each ‘Avatar’ film is an exciting but epic undertaking that takes time to bring to the quality level we as filmmakers strive for and audiences have come to expect,” commented Jon Landau, the producer of “Avatar”.
While fans may be disappointed with the wait, the sequels could potentially harness the longer timeline to build anticipation and orchestrate a more impactful cultural and box office return. The first two “Avatar” movies have collectively grossed more than $5.2 billion globally, setting a high bar for the sequels.
Meanwhile, Disney is planning to awaken the Force once again with two new “Star Wars” movies scheduled for 2026. These will be the first films from the franchise since “The Rise of Skywalker” in 2019, marking a seven-year gap, the longest in the franchise’s history. While details are limited, it’s speculated that one film will feature the return of Daisy Ridley’s character, Rey. As the Star Wars universe continues to expand through Disney+ series like “The Mandalorian” and “Ahsoka“, these movies could potentially build on the intricate narrative web woven across platforms, bringing new depth to the galaxy far, far away.
The release schedule is also undergoing several adjustments on the Marvel front, with some movies like “Avengers: Kang Dynasty” and “Avengers: Secret Wars” delayed by about a year. Part of these shifts may be due to the growing concerns around superhero fatigue. After a decade-plus run of Marvel films, the studio may strategically slow its rollout to prevent oversaturation.
However, the Marvel delays might also serve as a distancing measure from controversies surrounding lead actors, such as Jonathan Majors of “Avengers: Kang Dynasty”, who is currently facing assault charges. Despite his attorney’s denial of the charges, the situation has caused a public relations challenge for the studio.
While these calendar adjustments may cause initial disappointment for fans eager for the next installment of their favorite franchises, it’s clear that Disney is carefully planning its steps in a rapidly changing entertainment landscape. As we wait for these rescheduled releases, one thing is certain: the worlds of Pandora, the Star Wars galaxy, and the Marvel Universe are set to expand and evolve in intriguing ways in the years to come.
Full list of changes are as follows:
- “Avatar 3” moved from December 2024 to December 2025.
- “Avatar 4” slated for release in December 2029.
- “Avatar 5” set to release in December 2031.
- Two new “Star Wars” movies scheduled for 2026 – one on May 22, 2026, and the other on Dec. 18, 2026.
- “Deadpool 3” release date moved up to May 3, 2024, from the original Nov. 8, 2024.
- “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty” delayed from May 2025 to May 2026.
- “Avengers: Secret Wars” also delayed by a year, now set for May 7, 2027.
- The live-action adaptation of “Moana” has been given a release date of June 27, 2025.
- A new addition in the “Alien” franchise set for release on Aug. 16, 2024.
- “The Amateur”, a Rami Malek thriller, added to the calendar for Nov. 8, 2024.
- Several other Marvel Studios movies have shifted dates, including: