NEW YORK (AP) - "Avatar: The Way of Water" may have finally arrived in theaters in 2022, but that long parade of "Avatar" delays isn't done, yet.
The Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday pushed the release of "Avatar 3" a year, bumping it from December 2024 to December 2025. The timeline is stretched even further for the next planned installments. "Avatar 4" is now slated to hit theaters in December 2029; "Avatar 5" is set to arrive in December 2031.
If those dates hold, the "Avatar" film series will have stretched across the first four decades of the century. Director James Cameron, who launched "Avatar" in 2009, has said he may not direct films 4 and 5. By December 2031, the 68-year-old Cameron would be 77. "Avatar" and "Avatar: The Way of Water" have collectively made more than $5.2 billion at the box office.
"Each ‘Avatar’ film is an exciting but epic undertaking that takes time to bring to the quality level we as filmmakers strive for and audiences have come to expect," "Avatar" producer Jon Landau wrote on Twitter.
Disney on Tuesday shuffled plans for some of its biggest franchises. Two "Star Wars" film are planned for 2026. One was pushed from December 2025 to May 2026. Another was added for December 2026. The studio hasn't announced details on either untitled production.
The Marvel calendar was also remade Tuesday, as the studio continues to reshape its coming plans in its superhero kingdom. Most notably, "Avengers: Kang Dynasty" is being postponed from May 2025 to May 2026. That film, a pivotal release for Marvel, stars Jonathan Majors, the actor who has been charged with domestic violence. Majors' attorney has denied the charges and says he's innocent.
Other shifts in Marvel releases include most films being delayed a few months. "Captain America: Brave New World" will open in July 2024 instead of May 2024, after which comes "Thunderbolts" in December 2024, "Blade" in February 2025 and "Fantastic Four" in May 2025.
From Disney's 20th Century, another "Alien" film is now on the calendar, dated for August next year. And one movie is moving up: "Deadpool 3" will debut May 2024 instead of November next year.