Disney has announced a delay in the release of several films in its Avatar, Marvel, and Star Wars franchises. James Cameron's third Avatar movie has been moved from 2024 to December 2025, with the fourth film following in 2029. The release of the fifth instalment in the franchise is now slated for 2031. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America: Brave New World will be delayed from May to July next year, with Thunderbolts shifting to December 2024, Blade moving to February 2025, and Fantastic Four now slated for May 2025. The changes also affect the two upcoming Avengers movies in the MCU, with Avengers: The Kang Dynasty pushed back a year to May 2026 and Avengers: Secret Wars not being released until May 2027. Disney also delayed a planned Star Wars movie from December 2025 to May 2026, while adding another Star Wars movie to the schedule for December 2026. Disney has not released a Star Wars film since The Rise of Skywalker in 2019.
The reasons behind the release date rearrangements have not been elaborated upon, although studios often adjust their schedules for a variety of reasons. The moves come as a writers strike cripples the film and television industry, causing production shutdowns that could affect release timelines. Various prominent films and shows have either halted or concluded production prematurely since the beginning of the strike, including Netflix's Stranger Things, Apple TV+'s Severance, and Paramount's Evil.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has previously pondered whether Marvel should prioritize fresher characters rather than continuing to create third and fourth films for established legacy characters, after the box office disappointment of the actor's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Actor Jonathan Majors, who played Kang in Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, was arrested for assault earlier this year and reportedly faces more accusations of abuse. He has denied the allegations through his attorneys but was dropped by his longtime management company. Marvel has remained silent on Majors' case. Disney has not released a statement regarding the delays.