Walt Disney Co pushed back the release of science-fiction sequel "Avatar 2" by a year to December 2021 and announced it will debut new "Star Wars" films starting in December 2022.
Disney acquired the Avatar franchise and several other films through its recent purchase of film and TV assets from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox.
"Avatar 2," the follow-up to the 2009 blockbuster that is the highest-grossing film of all time, had originally been slated to reach theaters in 2014 but was delayed to 2017 and then to December 2020.
With the sequel now scheduled for December 2020, Disney moved "Avatar 3" to December 2023, "Avatar 4" to December 2025 and "Avatar 5" to December 2027.
A year ago, director Cameron told reporters he had begun filming on the second and third "Avatar" movies and had written the fourth and fifth films in the series.
The story of a blue, humanoid race on a lush moon known as Pandora, "Avatar" is the highest-grossing movie in history with $2.8 billion in global ticket sales, though box office experts say its long-standing record could soon fall to current Disney hit "Avengers: Endgame" from Marvel Studios.
The original film centered on the conflict between the human-led Resources Development Administration and the blue-skinned alien race Na'vi of Pandora. The film sequels will explore Pandora's other environments and cultures.
In between "Avatar" movies, Disney said it would release new "Star Wars" films in December 2022, 2024 and 2026.
The company did not release details, but it has previously announced plans for two "Star Wars" film series - one overseen by "The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson and another to be written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of HBO's hit television show "Game of Thrones."
Disney had previously committed to making three standalone "Star Wars" films outside of the Skywalker saga. They include 2016's "Rogue One," and the May 2018 release of "Solo: A Star Wars Story," which will follow the origins of the roguish smuggler Han Solo, made famous by Harrison Ford in the original 1977 movie.
The "Avatar 2" delay moves one of Disney's biggest movies off its 2020 slate. Films on next year's schedule include a retelling of "Mulan," two untitled Marvel films, and Steven Spielberg's remake of Broadway musical "West Side Story."
Eight Marvel movies are scheduled to be released between 2020 and 2022, the company said.
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