Disney unveils plans for Star Wars, Avatar films, Latest Movies News - The New Paper

Disney unveils plans for Star Wars, Avatar films

Following its merger with Fox, Disney on Tuesday sketched out its future plans for two of its most towering franchises - the Star Wars saga and Avatar.

Three new Star Wars films will hit the big screen every other year just before Christmas starting in 2022, the mega-studio announced.

That means that there could be a three-year wait between the December release of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, the final film in the original series begun in 1977, and the next big-screen Star Wars flick.

Several Star Wars projects are in the works, including a trilogy by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of HBO TV series Game Of Thrones, and a separate trilogy by The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson.

Disney paid US$4 billion for Lucasfilm in 2012.

In September last year, Disney chief executive Bob Iger admitted after the lacklustre performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story, a one-off film in the franchise, that the Star Wars release schedule was too frenetic.

After six films in 38 years, from 1977 to 2005, the rhythm had picked up considerably. A total of four films came in rapid succession, from the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015 to Solo in May last year.

"As I look back, I think the mistake that I made - I take the blame - was a little too much, too fast," Mr Iger told The Hollywood Reporter last year.

Meanwhile, Disney pushed back its plans for the next films in director James Cameron's uber-successful Avatar franchise - one of the biggest prizes for Disney in the Fox merger.

Avatar 2 will come a year later than expected in December 2021, followed by Avatar 3 in 2023, Avatar 4 in 2025 and Avatar 5 in 2027.

Avatar remains the top-grossing film of all time, with US$2.79 billion (S$3.8 billion) in worldwide box office sales, but Disney's superhero extravaganza Avengers: Endgame is hot on its heels at US$2.24 billion and rapidly climbing. - AFP