Disney Delays Massive Slate of Films For Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar
This weeks Your Nerd Side Show:
Disney fans are going to have to wait a little while longer for the next Avatar, Star Wars and Marvel film.
Per Variety, the Mouse House has dated and/or delayed most of its upcoming release calendar, including the next three installments in James Cameron's Avatar franchise. Avatar 3, 4 and 5 are now scheduled to open in theaters on Dec. 19, 2025, Dec. 21, 2029 and Dec. 19, 2031, respectively. The live-action Moana movie, starring Dwayne Johnson, has been dated for June 27, 2025. Disney and Lucasfilm have also confirmed plans to release new Star Warsmovies on May 22, 2026, Dec. 18, 2026, and Dec. 17, 2027. The Fede Alvarez-directed Alien movie will open on Aug. 16, 2024.
Marvel Studios also announced release date changes for its entire upcoming slate of Marvel Cinematic Universe titles, including Thunderbolts, Blade, Fantastic Four and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. According to Variety, production delays and the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike -- which began on May 2 -- were listed as reasons behind the massive release calendar shakeup. Regarding Avatar, the new release dates will "allow the post-production and visual effects department to continue expanding, developing and refining the different ecosystems across the vast world of Pandora," which will be introduced in the forthcoming sequels.
Return to Pandora in 2025
Avatar producer Jon Landau has already addressed the delays on Twitter with the following statement: "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. The team is hard at work and can’t wait to bring audiences back to Pandora in December 2025." While plot details for the third film in the sci-fi franchise remain under wraps, Cameron previously revealed that the film will introduce the fire and wind Na'vi tribes. Avatar 3 will also be narrated by Britain Dalton (as Jake Sully's son Lo'ak) instead of Sam Worthington, who narrated the first two films as Jake Sully.
Star Wars Heads Back to the Big Screen
2026 will mark the first time Disney and Lucasfilm have released a new Star Wars film in theaters since 2019’s Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. At this time, the release dates are merely placeholders and do not have titles attached to them. However, there are several Star Wars films in development at Lucasfilm, including director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy's untitled "New Jedi Order" movie. The upcoming film will follow Rey Skywalker (Daisy Ridley) as she re-establishes the Jedi Order 15 years after The Rise of Skywalker using the text that she was given and that Luke Skywalker imparted on her. Other Star Wars films in the works include an untitled "Dawn of the Jedi" film, an untitled "New Republic" film and Rogue Squadron.