Disney delays ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Avatar’ films by one year

Director James Cameron (L) and his wife, Suzy Amis, attend the premiere of "The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies" on December 2014. Disney has delayed the release of Cameron's "Avatar" sequels along with a collection of untitled "Star Wars" films. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

July 24 (UPI) — Disney has delayed a number of untitled “Star Wars” films and the planned “Avatar” sequels by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The next “Star Wars” film, which was set for Dec. 16, 2022, has moved to Dec. 22, 2023. A second “Star Wars” film has moved from Dec. 20, 2024 to Dec. 19, 2025 followed by a third film moving from Dec. 18, 2026 to Dec. 17, 2027.

“Avatar 2,” originally set for Dec. 17, 2021, will now release on Dec. 16, 2022. “Avatar 3” moves from Dec. 22, 2023 to Dec. 20, 2024 followed by “Avatar 4” from Dec. 19, 2025 to Dec. 18, 2026 and “Avatar 5” from Dec. 17, 2027 to Dec. 22, 2028.

“Avatar” director James Cameron said on Instagram Thursday that the delays are from being unable to conduct virtual production work in Los Angeles due to the pandemic. Cameron had announced in June that he had returned to New Zealand to work on the films.

“There is no one more disappointed about this delay than me. But I am buoyed by the incredible performances of our cast and the extraordinary work that Weta Digital is doing bringing the world of Pandora and the characters of the film to life,” Cameron said on Instagram.

Disney has also taken its live-action adaptation of “Mulan” off the release calendar. “Mulan” was set to arrive in theaters on Aug. 21 following multiple delays.

“Over the last few months, it’s become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during the global health crisis, and today that means pausing our release plans for ‘Mulan’ as we assess how we can most effectively bring this film to audiences around the world,” a Disney spokesperson said in a statement.


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