‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Delayed Until End of 2017

Star Wars The Force Awakens Rey
Courtesy of Disney

“Star Wars” fans will have to wait a little longer for “Episode VIII,” with Disney moving the release date from May 26, 2017, to Dec. 15, 2017.

The studio also shifted the date for the release of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” to May 26, 2017, previously set for July 7, 2017.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” continues to smash box office records since its release on Dec. 18. It’s currently the highest-grossing movie in U.S. history, and is also the third highest-grossing movie worldwide, with its current global cume standing at $1.88 billion.

“Episode VIII” is currently in pre-production and will begin principal photography in London next month. Rian Johnson is taking the reins from J.J. Abrams, who helmed “The Force Awakens,” to write and direct the upcoming sequel.

Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will produce “Episode VIII.” Abrams, Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin will exec produce. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, who were all introduced in “The Force Awakens,” will return to star.

The “Star Wars” release date shift isn’t great news for Warner Bros., which is releasing Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” on Dec. 15, 2017, as well.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” will see Johnny Depp reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow, along with Geoffrey Rush and Orlando Bloom returning as Captain Barbossa and Will Turner, respectively. Javier Bardem will make his debut in the series as new adversary Captain Salazar.

Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are directing “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” with Jerry Bruckheimer producing. It’s currently in post-production.

Disney currently has two other tentpoles set for summer 2017: “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” for May 5 and “Cars 3” for June 16. The next “Star Wars” movie slated for release is standalone film “Rogue One,” which is scheduled to bow December 16, 2016. A Han Solo origin film, to be written by Lawrence Kasdan and son Jon Kasdan, and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, is penciled in for release on May 25, 2018.

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  1. phasevariance says:

    JJ Abrams turned Star Wars into a social justice flick. Avatar seems more interesting at this point.

  2. Sci Fi dude says:

    It’s getting moved back so it’s release doesnt cut Guardians of the Galaxy II’s earnings short. It is slated for release on May 5.

  3. Duder NME says:

    Waaaaah? We have to wait a whopping two years for a Star Wars movie instead of the usual three? And with another Star Wars movie coming in the middle of that wait? WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE YOUNGLINGS?????

  4. Juniper says:

    I wished they had taken more time on the Force Awakens. It felt rushed and a super rehash. It’s been made a big deal about how fans now like the new Star Wars because finally a good Star Wars. Sure, the new team stole all of George Lucas’s ideas and just repackaged it. I hope Rian Johnson comes up with something a little more original.

  5. Juniper says:

    Avatar only made several billion dollars. Let’s open one week before that. Great idea! They’re so arrogant in thinking that Star Wars is such a force that Avatar won’t take a lot of its repeat business. It would still open huge, but all the nerds watching Star Wars for the fifth time, might have their attention divided with Avatar. Many Star War Fans are also Avatar fans.

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  7. Jack Monte says:

    Maybe the delay will give them time to write an actual story and the two leads to take acting lessons.

  8. jedi77 says:

    Just make sure Luke is a basass, then I don’t care when it comes out.

    • Stu says:

      I don’t. Thought Awakens was a dreadfully lazy rehash of a movie. A guess after the critical backlash of being too similar to a new hope they are probably rewriting episode 8 to less resemble the Empire Strikes Back. Of course they are.

  9. Paully says:

    Driving Toy Sales at Xmas is a plus..

  10. Cool says:

    Man this is bullcrap. I dont eant to wsit longer for ep viii

  11. Shitlord says:

    I know these big budget movies take a long time to make, but I have a feeling this has nothing to do with production and everything to do with milking EP7 for a much as it can. Hence pushing back EP8. They already know it needn’t be a summer film as a December release will be just as lucrative. Just bullshit to scam fans out of money.

    • jedi77 says:

      Well, they are pitting it against Avatar 2, so it’s not like the move doesn’t have consequenses.
      I think there’s more to it than money.

    • Don't Mind Me Now says:

      Yes, giving those fans who like the movie a chance to see it in theaters more than once is truly a scam of the highest order.

  12. stu freeman says:

    No! No!! How can I possibly wait another seven months?! What if I get stricken with some kind of terminal illness during the interim??? I’ll bet Obama is behind this!

  13. Paully says:

    Script problems..

  14. Richard says:

    Well Duh ! After all the cash it made over the holidays they would have a fiduciary duty to release it over the same holiday frame . This picture was a generational / family event and even more so than summer families are together at the same time and looking for something to do. There just no other time of year you can stack up cash this quickly with every weekday doing weekend numbers . That creates a huge must see factor that just feeds the beast.

    • Duder NME says:

      The thing is, what truly helped the movie more than anything was the warm temperate temperment of El Nino, who I hear is a big Paploo fan.

  15. Brenda says:

    Well, I don’t know anything about the new writer/director, but I do think it’s good that Abrams stepped away to just produce for the next one. I’m sure he doesn’t want to make the same mistake he did with Star Trek, where the first installation worked well and the second one had problems that cost it in the long run. They are still trying to dig themselves out of that hole with Beyond, which remains to be seen.

    The other issue is that nostalgia isn’t going to get the box office next time like it did with a movie coming after the prequels, I think. The Force Awakens, on it’s own and not compared to any of the prequels is a very mediocre film with some plot issues and a mary-sued main character.

    Star Trek 2009 may not have done as well at the box office, but I still maintain that it was a better film that just had different goals to accomplish and the harder task (which it succeeded in completing) of being a true reboot with little hype, instead of the soft reboot/continuation TFA is, and the huge hype it’s had as people speculated what Star Wars could do as a Disney product during the company’s mega Marvel era.

    All the best to both franchises. May the force be with them as they live long and prosper. I’m also very interested in seeing the next Avatar installment. I think it will do well.

  16. Frustrating for sure. Mark these words, something is rotten in the state of Disney. My guess for the reason they are delaying is someone at LucasFilm doesn’t like Rian Johnson’s script for Episode 8. Don’t be surprised if a different writer or director or both are brought in. This is just the tip of the iceberg, friends. Get ready for more delays and changes!

    • Don't Mind Me Now says:

      I doubt it.

      They probably are delaying it because
      a) TFW just set records across the board after having opened in December. There’s a clear interest in making Star Wars the new “December franchise.”
      b) The old date had Episode VIII being released just 6 months following Rogue One. That would put Episode VIII in jeopardy of audience apathy – if they just saw a Star Wars movie half a year ago, will they really be eager for ANOTHER one, even if they are telling stories from different eras? A year is a more ideal gap box office-wise.
      c) The new movie only just entered production. It’s asking quite a lot to shoot, edit and add advanced effects to a movie like that in less than 1.5 years, especially considering how close to the wire JJ was working on wrapping up post-production on TFW.
      d) The old date puts Episode VIII dangerously close to Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. If there’s one sure way to sabotage the box-office fortunes of the second-biggest space adventure franchise out there (GOTG), it’s to stick it right next to the biggest one (SW). Since Disney owns both, it’s better for them to maximize profit by keeping those two properties away from each other so audience members don’t feel like they have to choose. Pirates is not nearly as threatening to Guardians as Star Wars is.
      e) With a steady stream of new releases eating up theater space, SW would not hang around in theaters nearly as long in summer as in winter. In December, the only major competition is Avatar 2, which is unlikely to do as well as its predecessor due to the long delay and a lot of audience apathy for the would-be franchise that has generated in the years since the original came out. Plus, it’s just as likely that Avatar 2 will get delayed yet again, giving Star Wars utter domination.

      • Duder NME says:

        Avatar 2 is delayed, mere moments before this announcement. And let’s not kid ourselves – Awakens has quite a bit of fan baggage as well, not to mention that an ill-timed snowstorm (of many) could disrupt Disney’s grasp at repeated glory.

      • Brenda says:

        @Don’t Mind Me Now

        I’m not sure about the apathy towards Avatar 2 you speak of, especially if it’s just because of the amount of time passing between films. If passing of time makes people apathetic, then Star Wars TFA shouldn’t have done this well by that logic. If Avatar gets delayed, then yes, SW will likely rule the box office. If not, then it’s got some competition.

  17. Chizz says:


    Terrible reporting if you don’t get details why.

  18. Hugh says:

    Isn’t Avatar 2 due Dec 2017 too? It would be huge clash. The again Disney mah know something with them developing both a Star Wars and Avatar land in their parks, so they may have info that Avatar 2 might not even make that date. If it does, it will be a huge clash at the box office.

  19. Devin says:

    Guardians of the Galaxy 5 already! Whew…where has the time gone??? ;-)

  20. Nathan Walker says:

    I think you mean Guardians of the Galaxy 2????

  21. james says:

    Star Wars isn’t a surprise. They guarantee a top spot in number one through Christmas into January because no one else is releasing tentpoles of that size with Disney’s “shock and awe” release strategy.

    • Brenda says:

      If it’s going up against Avatar 2 then it’s not guaranteed. James Cameron, regardless of what anyone thinks of the guy, creates franchises that do well and go on. Everyone else has just been recycling. You have tip your hat at that, even if Avatar/Titanic/Terminator aren’t your thing.

      As of now, if I had to pick between the next Star Wars film or the next Avatar, I’d watch the next Avatar. As an FYI, I’m not a major fan of either, but both do have their fan bases. You could say that SW has the advantage in the sense that their fan base stretches back to the 1970’s, but then again, the person that got me to first see Avatar was at least in his 50s. So, maybe it’s a toss-up?.

  22. LOL says:

    Christmas is becoming the new summer. Up until 1975 with Jaws, the rule was that American families eschewed movie attending during the summer months in favour of healthy outdoor pursuits, while December was loosely considered a kind of blockbuster releases date.

    Now America will watch crap no matter when it is released, dude.

    • Keenan says:

      SW8 vs. Avatar 2!!!!
      I say “Bring It On”. If this “December 2017 Match” pushes through, then this will be the biggest film match in the history. SW8 will probably win the domestic box office and Avatar2 will own the international box office since the first Avatar earned almost 80% overseas of its total haul.
      But i doubt this will happen, James Cameron will need more time to complete the three sequels.
      So SW8 will have this date then.

  23. 85wzen says:

    Well that bodes well for it and that Abrams isn’t back is very good… best not to go through the same eye forever like they do with the xmen movies and all that shit…. it will be interesting how they bring back the dead characters… ala Spock who should have remained dead of course…

  24. joshpr says:

    they were going to release both movies the same day?

  25. Don’t you mean Pirates will be released on May 26 from July 7th

  26. Best news ever!!! These films are the perfect Holiday Gifts. Disney should exclusively release these in the winter that way they guarantee their buckets of money.

  27. Spike says:

    is it going to be like MacDonald’s? 100 billion tickets sold

    i’m so tired of this trash and on top of that all the vacuous hype about this trash

    push VIII into the next millenium for all I care

  28. JC says:

    Ugh! Why? Who’s still checking for Pirates of the Caribbean?

    • James says:

      The last one made a billion dollars, so a lot of people & fans ARE checking for Pirates of the Caribbean. I can’t wait to see Dead Men Tell No Tales.

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