Star Wars Episode VIII Release Date Change Sparks Major Rescheduling Frenzy

Star_wars_episode_VIIIGet your flow charts ready – this gets complicated. Disney has moved the release date for Star Wars Episode VIII from 26 May 2017 to 17 December 2017, causing a domino effect of rescheduling for some other other movies.

First up, Disney moved its own Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales from 7 July 2017 to take over the 26 May released date vacated by Episode VIII – the Memorial Day weekend slot.

Then Sony shifted the next Spider-Man reboot  from 28 July 2017 to 7 July 2017, the date left open by the Pirates move. Next Sony moved the Jumanji remake from Christmas 2016 into Spider-Man’s now vacant 28 July 2017 slot.

If Sony’s announcements seemed to come suspiciously quickly after Disney’s, then you need to remember, as Deadline points out, that Sony had some (perfectly legit) insider info: the Spider-Man reboot is a joint effort between Sony and Disney, part of a deal that also enabled Spider-Man to appear in Captain America: Civil War.

Now all eyes are on Paramount, which has Steven Spielberg sci-fi blockbuster Ready Player One currently scheduled to be released in the same week as Episode VIII’s new release date. That’s a hell of a clash. Will Paramount blink first?

It’s worth noting as well that Avatar 2 is currently pencilled in to be released a week after Episode VIII’s new release date but that seems to be a very vague commitment for the Cameron film. We’re betting he’ll still be fiddling and tinkering with his sequel at that point.

Why move the Star Wars release date in the first place? Well, the May date was always a nostalgic nod to tradition. The original trilogy films were all released in the US on Memorial weekend. Indeed, Episode VII was originally intended to be released in May 2015 but producer Kathleen Kennedy successfully convinced Disney to give the film more preproduction time. Now that Episode VII has performed so well over Christmas, though, perhaps Disney is keen to repeat the formula? Plus, the first Star Wars spin-off film, Rogue One, is locked in for a Christmas release so it looks like we have a new tradition established for Star Wars for Christmas.

Of course, there are more scurrilous rumours about production being delayed for rewrites. Possibly a combination of both factors is true.

In (apparently) unrelated release date reshuffling news, Paramount has dropped the Terminator Genesys sequel from its schedules completely and has moved the big-screen version of Baywatch into the vacated slot: 19 May 2017.


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