Disney announced on Tuesday a full reorganization of its entire calendar of theatrical releases, which involved delaying multiple Marvel movies, all Avatar sequels, but also added new dates for a Star Wars film as well as the live-action remake of Moana and the next Alien movie. Let’s break it down by studios.
20th Century Studios
20th Century’s new calendar for 2024 and beyond has only left Wes Ball’s The Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes in the same spot. They have announced that Fede Álvarez’s untitled Alien film will be hitting theaters on August 16, 2024, while the Rami Malek-led thriller The Amateur will come out on November 8, 2024. (A date previously held by a Marvel movie, which we’ll get to.) Avatar 3 was originally supposed to hit December 2024, but is now being bumped into December 19, 2025. Producer Jon Landau also addressed the change on social media.
Additionally, Avatar 4, previously targeting a December 2026 date, is now aiming to hit theaters three years later, on December 21, 2029. Its sequel and, for now, final film in the saga, is now targeting a December 19, 2031, date.
Disney’s newest studio has three films coming out later this year. They are Kenneth Branagh’s A Haunting in Venice, the Gareth Edwards-directed The Creator, and Taika Waititi’s new wacky flick, Next Goal Wins.
No updates here from Disney Pixar, but with Elemental hitting theaters in most markets around the world this Friday, the studio has revealed the first look at their next film, Elio, which is hitting theaters on March 1, 2024. Check it out below. The studio is also planning to release Inside Out 2 in June 2024. Toy Story 5 is in development, but there is no date for it yet. (Pixar doesn’t typically reveal release dates more than one or two years in advance.)
Walt Disney Studios
No delays on the Disney prime front, but there is a new addition. Disney’s current lineup of live-action remakes includes Snow White hitting theaters March 22 and then the Lion King prequel, Mufasa: The Lion King, on July 5. We have now one more film to add, as the studio has dated the live-action remake of Moana, with Dwayne Johnson attached to star in, for a June 27, 2025, date. The film will start shooting this fall in Hawaii.
As of yesterday, Lucasfilm was holding two spots on the Disney calendar, one in December 2025 and one in December 2027. Neither one had been assigned to a specific project, which is why we can’t really say that the next Star Wars film has been delayed… But it has. The 2025 date is now owned by Avatar 4, but in return, Disney has given Star Wars two films in 2026. The 2027 date remains unchanged.
They are, respectively, May 22 and December 18, 2026. None of these have been assigned, but from previous reports, it seems likely that the May film is what used to be the December 2025 date which, according to reports, is what Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy was targeting for her New Jedi Order film starring Daisy Ridley. Steven Knight was hard at work on the script before the writers’ strike, and was supposed to turn in his latest draft by the end of May.
With the stoppage, the process was pushed back a few months and will not resume until a deal is reached between studios and the writers’ guild. For this reason, and since there are no signs of the strike being called off anytime soon, we could see a significant delay in the production schedule for that film. Lucasfilm is getting ahead of it and already pushing back on their targeted release date.
As far as the other date goes, it’s likely going to be the Dave Filoni-directed culmination event to The Mandalorian and its spin-offs’ overarching story. James Mangold’s film, which will be set 25,000 years before The Phantom Menace and will explore the origins of the Force, will likely take the 2027 spot.
Here is where the fun really begins and where the dates get messed up, so we’ll try to do our best to make sense of it. For now, the 2023 schedule remains unchanged, with one more film to hit theaters, Nia DaCosta’s The Marvels, out on November 10.
The next film we will not be getting from the MCU will be Deadpool 3 on May 3, 2024. The film, led by Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman, is currently shooting in London and has moved up from its November 8, 2025, date. As a casualty, Captain America: Brave New World is now set for release on July 26, 2024, which is definitely an interesting development as that film, with Anthony Mackie set to lead, has been filming longer than the Deadpool threequel.
The July date was previously held by Thunderbolts, which just had to pause production due to the writers’ strike; as a result, it’s now being bumped into a December 20, 2024, date. It will be Marvel Studios’ first December release (Spider-Man: No Way Home was distributed by Sony.)
But what about Blade? Mahershala Ali’s reboot was set for September 2024, but it’s now been moved into February 14, 2025. That date was up until yesterday held by Fantastic Four. Not anymore, as the Matt Shakman-directed reboot will now open on May 2, 2025. That ripple effect causes the next Avengers movie to be delayed, and in this case, it’s an entire year.
The Kang Dynasty (don’t hold too tight to that name, as we still don’t know what Marvel is going to do about Jonathan Majors) will now open in theaters on May 1, 2026, which in turn forces Avengers: Secret Wars to a May 7, 2027, release. However, in the case of these two dates, it’s likely that they will be moved again at some point, as Marvel Studios has been reworking their entire pipeline and has yet to date many projects, including the once-announced Shang-Chi sequel and the Don Cheadle-led Armor Wars. A Doctor Strange threequel is also reportedly in some sort of development, and more to be announced.
What do you make of the Disney release update? Is your head spinning as much as ours? Are you disappointed it’s come to this, or perhaps even hopeful they will make the best out of the situation? Let us know on our social media, and stay tuned for more movie news!
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter