Having a a huge company like Disney bankrolling your franchise must seem like a dream come true when you check your bank balance. It might start to get a bit more nerve wracking when your new parent starts tightening deadlines! I wonder how everyone feels when they actually start to push release dates back? I suppose it depends on whether or not your project is sitting there ready to go or you just need to do a bit of last minute polishing.
This Tuesday, the news broke that Disney is changing the releases dates of some of its most prestigious titles. Franchises affected include Avatar, Star Wars, and the MCU. They are mostly all postponements but I’ll go into a little more detail…
The third instalment in the blue rinse brigade has been pushed back from December 2024 to December 2025. The fourth outing won’t be hitting the screens until December 2029. You’ll have to wait until December 2031 before the fifth (final?) episode lands. That will make Avatar a four decade spanning franchise! Not quite in the James Bond league but getting there. Whether James Cameron will still be running the show is yet to be seen as he’ll be 77 when Avatar 5 is released. But that is a similar age bracket to Steven Spielberg and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
I don’t know what direction the Star Wars franchise is likely to go in after the nine volume Skywalker saga was wrapped up in 2019. Various prequels and spin offs have had some success as TV series but it’s been 50/50 with the films; Rogue One = good, Solo = hmmm. At present there are two Star Wars projects in the pipeline but there’s no hard information on either just yet. One has been pushed back from December 2025 to May 2026 and another has been pencilled in for December 2026.
MCU – Updated
Future phases of the MCU are quite well known; we’ve just started on phase five of an announced six phases. That doesn’t make them immune to changes though! Avengers: Kang Dynasty has been pushed back from May 2025 to May 2026. How much of that is due to the legal problems that Jonathan Majors is facing is hard to say. Other MCU movements are much smaller. Captain America: Brave New World will be opening in July 2024 rather than May 2024. That’ll be followed by Thunderbolts in December 2024, Blade in February 2025 and Fantastic Four in May 2025.
The effects of the ongoing WGA/SAG-AFTRA strike are well known and far reaching. As a result there have been changes to the dates I already mentioned. Captain America: Brave New World is being prioritised and will, hopefully, still open in July 2024. Thunderbolts, however, is being pushed back to mid 2025, possibly May. Blade is now looking at a July 2025 opening. Fantastic Four is currently holding on to May 2025.
Another Alien film has been marked on the calendar; we’re looking at August 2024. And then, in keeping with the anarchic character of the eponymous anti-hero, Deadpool 3 has been brought forward from November 2024 to May 2024.
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!