‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Release Moved to December 15, 2017

It seems strange to report on a simple shift in the change of a film’s release date, especially when it’s more than a year away, but the immense success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens kind of begs for increased attention to be given to the film’s follow-up. And so we’re here to report that the Rian Johnson-directed eight installment of the Star Wars franchise will no longer be released in May of 2017, it’ll instead be released on December 15 of that year. This isn’t a surprise, given the success of the year-end release of The Force Awakens. Hell, our own Jason Bailey predicted that Disney could make such a move. But it’s interesting for more reasons than that: it puts it directly against Steven Spielberg’s live action adaptation of Ready Player One and just a week ahead of James Cameron’s Avatar sequel, two films that are sure to eat into the second viewings that have helped The Force Awakens earn its huge bundle. (It’s currently sitting at $1.8 billion worldwide.)

Episode VIII is currently in pre-production. The release date of Rogue One still stands at December 16, 2016, though, so there’s no need to worry about what you’ll be seeing this year’s holiday season.

Oh, Disney also announced that the newest Pirates of the Caribbean movie, subtitled Dead Men Tell No Tales, to Episode VIII‘s original slot of May 26, 2017.