Last week Disney/Lucasfilm announced that the release of Star Wars Episode 8 would be pushed back from May to December 2017, owing to delayed production and script re-writes by director Rian Johnson (The Brothers Bloom, Looper). Filming on the new movie is expected to begin soon, but in the meantime, some rival production companies have had to rearrange their plans for some of their upcoming big releases. Director James Cameron (Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Titanic) is still currently set to begin filming all three of his upcoming Avatar sequels simultaneously at the end of this year, but Avatar 2, having already been moved back from release in December 2016 to December 2017, is now being pushed back again, with no release yet in sight.
The official reason why has not been elaborated upon by the studios or filmmakers, but the news of Star Wars 8 and Avatar 2 being released in the same month could very well have something to do with it. Considering the scale of the original Avatar, it could be just as likely that Cameron has been hindered by production issues and script re-writes, but regardless of the reason, Avatar 2 might not be hitting theaters until some time in 2018 or even 2019. Star Wars 8 will, however, still have to compete with Warner Bros.’ upcoming sci-fi adventure Ready Player One from director Steven Spielberg (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Lincoln). Disney/Lucasfilm’s first Star Wars spinoff sequel, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is still scheduled for release in December 2016. Stay tuned for more news.