James Cameron’s long-awaited sequels to ‘Avatar‘ will take one more year to open the doors to Pandora. Disney, which holds 21st Century Fox’s roster now, has announced on Tuesday that the release date for ‘Avatar 2‘ has been pushed back to December 17, 2021. The movie was lined up for a December 18, 2020 release earlier. The delay will also affect the schedule of three more ‘Avatar’ sequels. According to Variety, ‘Avatar 3’ will hit theaters on December 22, 2023, which was scheduled for December 17, 2021. Meanwhile ‘Avatar 4’ will only arrive on December 19, 2025, instead of December 20, 2024. ‘Avatar 5’ will opens up on December 17, 2027.
The delay is nothing new for the ‘Avatar’ sequels which have a long history of postponing release dates. According to James Cameron, the movies are delayed because his team is working on new refined technologies for the franchise. He is working on all four upcoming sequels consecutively. “Busy on set, so no time to hang around but just dropping in to share the news — Sivako!,” was Cameron’s reaction on Twitter after the Disney announcement, reports THR.
The massive rescheduling was revealed as part of a shakeup of Disney’s release slate on Tuesday. Disney is in the process of filtering out the numerous titles it inherited after the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company on March 20, 2019. “We’re excited to put in place a robust and diverse slate that lays the foundation of our long-term strategy, bringing together a breadth of films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Fox, Fox Searchlight, and Blue Sky Studios to create an extraordinary collection of cinematic experiences for audiences around the world,” said Cathleen Taff, the studio’s president of theatrical distribution, reports Variety.
After the unprecedented opening of ‘Avengers: Endgame‘ worldwide, Disney has also reshuffled Marvel’s release slate yesterday. ‘The New Mutants,’ the ‘X-Men‘ spinoff starring Maisie Williams will now release on April 3, 2020, instead of August 2, 2019. Meanwhile, another ‘X-Men’ spinoff, ‘Gambit’ is removed from the release slate. It was previously scheduled for a March 13, 2020 release.
Disney has also set new dates for some other high-profile movies including Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story‘ adaptation which will hit screens on December 18, 2020. The live-action spinoff of ‘101 Dalmatians,’ ‘Cruella’ will bow on December 23, 2020. ‘Ad Astra,’ the mysterious drama featuring Brad Pitt in the lead is scheduled to a September 20, 2019 release. A number of 2019 summer releases are also pushed back in the timeline. Fox 2000’s ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ is moved to August 9 and Fox Searchlight’s ‘Ready or Not’ is slated for an August 23 release. ‘Artemis Fowl‘ a YA adaptation will now come to theaters on May 29, 2020, reports Variety.
Cover Image Courtesy: 20th Century Fox/Photofest