Thanks to a certain film, Disney's latest theatrical slate now extends into the next decade with a 2031 release.
Which Disney Movie Will Release in the 2030s?
Avatar 5 is the first Hollywood movie to receive a 2030s release after the film's original date shifted from December 22, 2028 to December 19, 2031.
While studios staking claims on theatrical calendars years ahead is nothing new, it's unusual to claim a date a whopping eight years in advance.
In addition, the irony that this 2031 movie belongs to a franchise that's only two films old, despite having launched back in 2009, isn't lost on audiences or even Avatar star Zoe Saldana.
Following the news, the actress reacted on Instagram via Variety, saying, "Great! I'm gonna be 53 when the last 'Avatar' comes out:"
“Great! I’m gonna be 53 when the last ‘Avatar’ comes out. I was 27 when I shot the very first ‘Avatar.'”
Why Is Avatar 5 Debuting in a Different Decade?
Avatar 5's next-decade debut appears to be the result of a scheduling domino effect.
As a result, Avatar 4 has been pushed from its December 18, 2026 release to December 21, 2029; and with the film occupying the latest possible window of the 2020s, Avatar 5 was pushed into the 2030s with a December 19, 2031 debut.
While claiming these dates so early suggests Disney's confidence in future Avatar following The Way of Water's success, a calendar that far into the future is anything but concrete, especially when it comes to the Avatar IP.
A gulf of 13 years separated the original Avatar and Avatar 2.
And, while that's somewhat understandable due to the franchise's trademark use of technology and innovation, audiences have learned to take any Avatar release date with an ocean's worth of salt.
There's also the reality that by December of 2031, James Cameron will be 77 years old.
For now, all eyes are on Avatar 3 and whether the now-2025 film can stick to its new date, as well as whether the forward-thinking franchise can continue to maintain audience interest in the years to come.
Avatar: The Way of Water is available to stream on Disney+.