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Disney delays Star Wars, Avatar releases, takes Mulan off schedule

The coronavirus has shaken up Disney’s biggest franchises — and Star Wars is the latest to be affected.

Disney announced Thursday it would push back the releases of the next set of Star Wars movies as well as James Cameron’s Avatar sequel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The live-action Mulan remake, which was originally supposed to release in March, has also been taken off its theatrical release calendar.

“Over the last few months, it’s become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during this global health crisis, and today that means pausing our release plans for Mulan as we assess how we can most effectively bring this film to audiences around the world,” a Disney spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.

The next Star Wars flick, which was due to come out on December 16, 2022, will now be released over a year later on December 22, 2023, according to Disney. The next untitled film has also been bumped back from December 20, 2024, to December 19, 2025, while a third film that hasn’t been revealed was pushed from December 18, 2026, to December 17, 2027.

The Avatar sequel has been delayed to December 16, 2022; it was due to come out next December. In a post on Instagram, director James Cameron said “there is no one more disappointed about this delay than me.”

The reshuffling is the latest blow to the movie industry, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. Warner Bros. recently announced that Christopher Nolan’s next hotly anticipated blockbuster Tenet had also been delayed, with no new release date set. Tenet had been seen as a test case for Hollywood’s triumphant return to movie theaters, but with its delay, we’re likely to see other major blockbusters get pushed back or taken off the release schedule entirely.

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