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SYFY WIRE coronavirus

Disney delays Avatar sequels and Star Wars films in latest pandemic reshuffle

By Josh Weiss

The Mouse House continues to reshuffle its theatrical release schedule amid the fallout caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Per Variety, a batch of three new Star Wars films are set to bow on Dec. 22, 2023, Dec. 19, 2025, and Dec. 17, 2027, respectively. The initial plan was to start rolling them out in December 2022. It is unclear whether any of these projects are the post-Rise of Skywalker movie that is being directed and co-written by Taika Waititi. Moreover, it's uncertain if this trio of releases will constitute a new trilogy or three unconnected stories.

Babu Frik Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker

In addition, Disney is pushing off James Cameron's Avatar sequels (yet again). Avatar 2 (until today, it was scheduled for next December) will now arrive in theaters Dec. 16, 2022 — followed by Avatar 3 on Dec. 20, 2024, Avatar 4 on Dec. 18, 2026, and Avatar 5 on Dec. 22, 2028. In June, Cameron resumed production on the movies in Wellington, New Zealand, after a four-month shutdown.

In lieu of the Avatar delay, Cameron addressed fans to assure them the wait would be worth it. 

 Furthermore, Mulan is indefinitely delayed. Niki Caro's live-action remake of the 1998 animated original was originally supposed to open in late March before it was pushed to July 24 and then Aug. 21. Earlier today, it was announced that AMC Theaters is postponing its reopening plan to mid-to-late August.

Elsewhere, Scott Cooper's Antlers was bumped to Feb. 19, 2021, while David Prior's The Empty Man (based on the BOOM! Studios comic) is slated for Dec. 4 of this year.

The New Mutants is currently still on track to open in theaters Friday, Aug. 28. You can watch the first scene of the long-delayed X-Men film here.