A director is not the only new thing that Star Wars:Episode IX is getting today.
In an not entirely unsurprising move, Disney has announced it is moving the release of the untitled Star Wars sequel back seven months. It will now open on December 20, 2019.
Previously, the studio’s live action adaption of Aladdin was in that December 2019 spot, but Disney has moved that film forward to fill the May 24, 2019 date vacated by Episode IX.
The change and release dates does not come as much of a surprise. Earlier today, Disney announced that JJ Abrams would be directing Episode IX. When Abrams assumed the job of directing what would become titled The Force Awakens, one of the first things that happened was the films release date was pushed back from its originally announced May 2015 release date to its eventual December release that same year, in part because he wanted to overhaul the screenplay.
No reason was given for the delay in release. However, the announcement of Abrams hiring included the news that he would be working on the screenplay as well. Initially episode is filming was set to begin in the new year. However if Abrams is doing major work on the screenplay, filming is most likely being pushed back to accommodate that work.
Unfortunately, he move does throw a kink into Disney’s plans to move the release dates of their Star Wars films from the current December timeframe back to the end of May, when the original six films made their debuts. Disney’s untitled Han Solo spin off film is scheduled for a May 25, 2018 release.
Additionally, Disney announced a number of new releases over the next two years including their untitled Christopher Robin movie set to open in theaters on August, 3, 2018, the hoped-for franchise-launching adaption of the first Artemis Fowl young adult novel hitting theaters on August 9, 2019 and Nicole, which stars Anna Kendrick as a female Santa Claus, on November 8, 2019.