Following its acquisition of key assets from 21st Century Fox, Disney now has access to several blockbuster franchises. The House of Mouse has now revealed how it will approach Star Wars and Avatar going forward.
According to a press release from Disney, "With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker bringing the original Skywalker Saga to its conclusion, three new as-yet-untitled Star Wars films will release on the pre-Christmas weekend every other year beginning in 2022."
This means the two franchise will alternate until 2027, as the "four forthcoming Avatar films, expanding the vibrant world of Pandora, will release on the pre-Christmas weekend every other year beginning in 2021."
Avatar 2, the sequel to 2009's Avatar, has had a long and complicated production history. This date-change also constitutes another delay for the film, though the announcement itself indicates Disney is committed to more regular releases of films in the franchise.
Now scheduled to land on Pandora December 17, 2021 pic.twitter.com/d21QmCwiHC— Avatar (@officialavatar) May 7, 2019
The release schedule for Star Wars seems to gel with remarks made by Disney CEO Bob Iger that the franchise's release schedule would slow down following the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Keri Russell, Matt Smith, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher, with Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. The film arrives Dec. 20.
Written and directed by James Cameron, Avatar 2 stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Edie Falco, Kate Winslet, Oona Chaplin, Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis. The film arrives Dec. 17, 2021.