Disney delays next Star Wars trilogy, tweaks Mulan and Avatar dates

Disney has delayed the next trilogy in the Star Wars universe, news that isn't terribly surprising given the state of the world at the moment. As well, the company is bumping the release date for the new anticipated Avatar and it has decided to delay its live-action Mulan indefinitely. These aren't the first major movies to see such substantial disruption — another anticipated blockbuster was recently delayed indefinitely over the pandemic.READ: Christopher Nolan's Tenet movie delayed again, this time indefinitely

The global pandemic has disrupted life for everyone, bringing some industries to a halt, forcing schools to close down, and more. The entertainment industry was hit particularly hard for the obvious reason that it is non-essential — production on a vast number of TV shows and movies was suspended and upcoming new movie premieres were delayed.

The industry has dealt with this blow in various ways; some movies were released on digital video early, while others skipped theaters entirely for a purely digital release. Other finished movies were bumped to later release dates in anticipation of theaters reopening, but that plan hasn't worked so well. Now that we're nearing the end of the industry's summer release season, we've seen a number of movies get delayed a second (or third) time.

On July 23, Walt Disney Studios announced that because of these uncertainties, including theater closures and the potential for regional spikes in virus numbers, the company is indefinitely delaying Mulan's theatrical release — fans shouldn't expect a digital-only premiere, at least not at this point in time. The most recent release date for the movie had been August 21.

In addition, Disney will be delaying the release of Avatar 2 and the new Star Wars movie by one year; the first is now scheduled to premiere in theaters on December 16, 2022, and the first of the new untitled Star Wars movies will arrive on December 22, 2023. The subsequent Avatar and Star Wars movies following these are set for dates leading into late 2028.