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Disney Pushes Back Rian Johnson’s ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII,’ Moves Up ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’

Disney Pushes Back Rian Johnson's 'Star Wars: Episode VIII,' Moves Up 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales'

Can you feel it? There’s been a disturbance in the force! Disney has been revealed to be swapping release dates for major releases slated for 2017.

Rian Johnson‘s “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” originally announced to be released on May 26, 2017, will now be unveiled on December 15, 2017. So why this particular move? Pick your theory, but it’s very possibly a business decision. The Mouse House already has Marvel‘s “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2” scheduled for May 5, 2017, and releasing another space opera a few weeks later probably may have been seen as ill-judged. And while box office prognosticators would typically believe that releasing blockbusters in December doesn’t pay off as much as doing so in the summer, the performance of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is a strong rebuttal. 

READ MORE: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” The Legacy-quel And The Rising Danger Of Fan Service 

Meanwhile, the studio is moving up “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” to the previously held spot for ‘Episode VIII.’ That film was originally slated for July 7, 2017, but will now walk the plank a little bit earlier. Meanwhile, Marvel and Sony is taking advantage of the shift, and moving their “Spider-Man” reboot to the slot previously held by ‘POTC’ on July 7th (it was originally slated for July 28th). It’s like chutes and ladders!

So it looks like Christmas will perpetually be the season for “Star Wars,” at least for the next couple of movies, with ‘Rogue One‘ due this December. Check out the full press release below.

This morning, The Walt Disney Studios announced new release dates for upcoming films from two of its major franchises.

Star Wars: Episode VIII, originally scheduled for release on May 26, 2017, will now debut on December 15, 2017. The move follows the extraordinary success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was the first Star Wars movie to premiere in December. In the popular holiday moviegoing corridor, it smashed numerous records, including biggest domestic and global debuts of all time as well as the biggest domestic second and third weekends, en route to becoming the highest grossing domestic release of all time with over $861M and the third biggest global release ever with $1.887B.

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII is currently in pre-production and will begin principal photography in London next month. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will produce and J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski, and Jason McGatlin will executive produce. Stay tuned to StarWars.com for exciting updates in the coming weeks.

With Star Wars: Episode VIII jumping to December, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will set sail on May 26, 2017, from its previously scheduled July 7, 2017, berth. The blockbuster franchise’s previous installment, the $1B-grossing Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, also debuted in late May. 

In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow with Geoffrey Rush back on board as Barbossa, Orlando Bloom resurfacing as Will Turner, and a terrifying new adversary, Captain Salazar, played by Javier Bardem, in the mix. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, the film is currently in post-production.

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