We can fly into the future of Star Wars beginning in 2022.
Photo: Disney

The Star Wars saga returns in 2022, and it’s sharing some time with Pandora.

Disney just revealed a bunch of new release dates, with the highlight being that three new, yet-to-be-titled Star Wars movies will be released every other December starting in 2022. In the years between, Disney will release new James Cameron Avatar movies, since the company now owns that franchise as well. That starts in 2021, which delays that franchise a year.

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The news also includes new release dates for the X-Men spinoff The New Mutants (now April 3, 2020), the Brad Pitt sci-fi film Ad Astra (now September 9 of this year), and the literary adaptation Artemis Fowl, which shifts to May 29, 2020. Also, the studio dated the Cruella de Vil film, likely starring Emma Stone, for Christmas next year.

Conspicuously absent from this news? Anything about Marvel Studios specifically. But those dates have been set for a while. There are “Untitled Marvel” movies coming on May 1, 2020; November 6, 2020; February 12, 2021; May 7, 2021; November 5, 2021; February 18, 2022; May 6, 2022; and July 29, 2022. So far.

So after the release of The Rise of Skywalker, it’ll be three years until we see a new Star Wars movie. Which is probably for the best (plus, there’s quite a bit of TV to focus on). In the meantime, Disney has Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and Cruella for Christmas 2020, Avatar 2 for 2021, and then a galaxy far, far, away again in 2022.

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But wait, there’s more.

Gambit, which was previously on Fox’s release schedule, has been axed. The animated film Spies in Disguise has been bumped to Christmas this year. Call of the Wild, starring Harrison Ford, has been moved to February of next year. Free Guy, the Ryan Reynolds/Shawn Levy video game movie, is coming July 3, 2020. A Bob’s Burgers movie is coming July 17, 2020. (Both were previously announced.) Nimona, based on Noelle Stevenson’s webcomic, has been moved a year to March 3, 2021. That new Indiana Jones project is still scheduled for July 9, 2021, then Christmas looks like this for a few years:

  • December 17, 2021 - Avatar 2
  • December 16, 2022 - Untitled Star Wars
  • December 22, 2023 - Avatar 3
  • December 20, 2024 - Untitled Star Wars
  • December 19, 2025 - Avatar 4
  • December 18, 2026 - Untitled Star Wars
  • December 17, 2027 - Avatar 5

It’s important to note too that there’s no indication these Star Wars films are a new trilogy or any of the previously teased films. They may be, but they may not be either. We’ll have to wait and see.

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Here’s the full press release.

The Walt Disney Studios has unveiled its upcoming slate following the recent acquisition of the Fox film studios, including changes to previously dated films and a number of major additions.

After kicking off with the record-setting success of Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame, The Walt Disney Studios’ 2019 summer slate includes Disney’s Aladdin on May 24, Fox’s Dark Phoenix on June 7, Pixar’s Toy Story 4 on June 21, Fox’s Stuber on July 12, and Disney’s The Lion King on July 19. Fox 2000’s The Art of Racing in the Rain moves up to Aug. 9, and Fox Searchlight’s Ready or Not will release on Aug. 23, while three films move to later dates: Ad Astra (9/20/19), The New Mutants (4/3/20), and Artemis Fowl (5/29/20).

The Studios’ 2019 slate rounds out with Fox’s The Woman in the Window on Oct. 4 and Ford V. Ferrari on Nov. 15, Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil on Oct. 18 and Disney Animation’s Frozen 2 on Nov. 22, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on Dec. 20, and Blue Sky Studios’ Spies in Disguise, moving from September to Christmas. Among early 2020 titles are Fox’s Underwater on Jan. 10, a new Kingsman movie on Feb. 14, and Call of the Wild on Feb. 21, followed by Pixar’s Onward on March 6 and Disney’s Mulan on March 27.

The updated calendar also sets release dates for major franchises Avatar and Star Wars. 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. Four forthcoming Avatar films, expanding the vibrant world of Pandora, will release on the pre-Christmas weekend every other year beginning in 2021. In the holiday corridor for 2020, Fox’s West Side Story adaptation, directed by Steven Spielberg, will debut Dec. 18 in the pre-Christmas slot, with Disney’s Cruella opening Wednesday, Dec. 23, for the long holiday weekend.

“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, President, Theatrical Distribution, Franchise Management, and Business & Audience Insights, The Walt Disney Studios. “With a strong summer already in place, we are eager to carry that momentum forward over the coming years thanks to a creative wellspring of bold and imaginative stories coming from our world-class studios – including several new chapters of two revered franchises, Avatar and Star Wars.”

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Are you excited about every other Christmas swapping Star Wars and Avatar?

This article was updated a few times after publication.


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