Disney Schedule Shakeup: Delays Some Franchise Films, Adds Others

Disney is shaking up its movies calendar, including delaying the release of its next three “Avatar” movies and adding a “Star Wars” movie. 

Disney did not comment on the reasons, but likely contributors include the ongoing writers’ strike and some shuffling of releases in light of the company’s announced intention to cut $3 billion in content costs as part of an overall push for $5.5 billion in savings by the end of fiscal 2024.

Disney moved the release of the third “Avatar” movie from 2024 to December 2025, with the fourth to follow in 2029 and the fifth in 2031. Director James Cameron, who launched “Avatar” in 2009 and is now 68 years old, has said that he may not direct the fourth and fifth films.

The original “Avatar” and last year’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” have together generated more than $5.2 billion at the box office.

“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,” tweeted the franchise’s producer, Jon Landau.

The next “Star Wars” movie has been pushed from December 2025 to May 2026, and another has been added for December 2026.

Meanwhile, Disney’s recent pause of filming on “Blade” and “Thunderbolts” is apparently affecting the timing of other movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“Captain America: Brave New World” will be delayed from May to July next year, “Thunderbolts” will move to December 2024, “Blade” will move to February 2025 and “Fantastic Four” will move to May 2025.

“Avengers: Kang Dynasty” has been delayed from May 2025 to May 2026, and “Avengers: Secret Wars” will not be released until May 2027. 

Jonathan Majors, who played Kang in Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” was arrested for assault earlier this year. He has denied the allegations. Marvel has made no statements about the arrest.

Disney also announced the planned release date for a previously announced live-action adaptation of the animated "Moana" movie: July 2, 2025.

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