Jack Champion as Spider in 20th Century Studios' AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Disney Shakes Up Movie Line-Up Including Marvel and Avatar Franchises

By: Robert Prentice

With the writer’s strike in full swing, and a looming actors guild strike on the horizon, this comes as a shock to no one that Disney has shifted some of its film release dates. However, some of these were unexpected or further out than we might have thought given previously announced dates. While many productions currently in progress were halted recently as a result of the WQA strike, those whose scripts were fully completed already are still moving forward, for now. If the actors guild does strike this could cause further delays and chaos in an already crazy shake-up of TV and film. Other notable movies adjustments from Disney:

Starting with some of the good news. Disney added a new “Star Wars” movie and live-action “Moana” adaptation to the schedule. The current release date is set for June 27, 2025. Deadpool 3 was moved up from Nov of 2024 to May 3rd, 2024. A currently untitled “Star Wars” movie is being slotted for Dec 18th, 2026. This new addition to the “Star Wars” lineup is in addition to a previously announced, but also untitled “Star Wars” film which had previously been set for Dec 2025 is now set for May 22, 2026. Two feature films from “Star Wars” in the same year? That sounds exciting. But the love for the franchise doesn’t end there, there is a third film set for Dec 17th, 2027.

Avatar fans have a little longer to wait, again, for the franchise to continue. We are used to waiting on these films which is such a huge gap between the first and second. Now all of the remaining films have been shifted by at least a year. So that means Avatar 3 is set for Dec 19, 2025, Avatar 4 Dec 21, 2029 and Avatar 5 Dec 19, 2031. Yes, you read that right, it will be another 8 years before all the films are released. But this does confirm at least for now that all 3 additional films in the franchise are moving forward. Jon Landau posted what appeared to be shot from Avatar 3 and commented on the production of the third film.

The intense post-production time that Avatar requires for the technology and shooting style that Cameron wants for these films means the delays are more about post-production and visual effects than actual shooting with actors. As you may recall Avatar 3 was shot side by side with Avatar 2, as Cameron wanted to ensure all the young cast was covered in the right ages before they aged up due to a time skip going into Avatar 4. So the delay is more likely due to final shooting or edits of scenes, delays from WGA strike and post-editing and refinement of the film.

The next big franchise to see a shake-up is Marvel. Starting with “Captain America: Brave New World” which is now moving back from May to July of 2024 (the shorter of the delays). This means “Thunderbolts” moves to Dec 20, 2024, “Blade” to Feb 14, 2025 and “Fantastic Four” to May 2, 2025. The next round of Avengers-style films including “THe Kang Dynasty” is pushed back a full year to May 1st, 2026. Avengers: Secret Wars is also moving a year to May 7th, 2027.

The new “Alien” movie will premiere August 16, 2024. It is produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Fede Alvarez.

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