Not long after Disney confirmed their acquisition of much of Fox's creative real estate, the behemoth company has now released a full picture of what they've got coming for a huge slice of the next decade. Basically, expect to see lots of Star Wars and Avatar merch around for the next chapter of your lives.
The whole slate looks really impressive, even if there are some notable losers (like Ad Astra and The New Mutants being moved into later release slots AGAIN and the possibility that Warner Bros are going to have to move Aquaman 2 out of directly competing with Star Wars). Most interesting of all, inevitably, are those three Star Wars movies starting in 2022.
Right now, we know there are two different trilogies in development, with Rian Johnson overseeing one and the other looked after by Game Of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. As a welcome breath of fresh air, neither of them will focus on the Skywalker Saga with the later widely rumoured to be focusing on the Knights Of The Old Republic period.
Both of the teams are actually working together closely, but only one of them can release first, so it's now a question of which we're more likely to see kicking off in 2022. That's assuming (correctly, you'd have to say) that they won't alternate the releases, with them being spread out from 2022 to 2026 with an Avatar sequel in between them. If they were to rotate, you'd probably expect all six slots to have been announced at once.
There's definitely precedent to suggest that Disney MIGHT do that alternating schedule, but one of the biggest take-aways from their standalone adventure should be that it was infinitely harder to market the stand-alones when they came slap bang in the middle of the Sequel Trilogy. Solo had lots of things working against it, but that definitely didn't help.
Alternatively of course, we could be looking at one whole trilogy here, which makes sense in that respect.
Looking for hints in when the movies are said to be kicking off is no help either at this stage as Johnson told those at CinemaCon that he was planning on getting into his trilogy as soon as Knives Out was complete and the official Star Wars announcement on the Benioff/Weiss trilogy stated they'd be starting work as soon as the final season of Game Of Thrones was done. So we're looking at very similar start times.
Word in 2017 was that Johnson had already started on developing his trilogy, though the language was all very much centred on "very early development," which is probably the same with the other trilogy. The question really is how much time he and Weiss and Benioff have had to work on their Star Wars projects around Knives Out and Game Of Thrones.
And then there's the question of the other trilogy having to wait. If Disney intend to do one trilogy at a time, that would suggest that either Johnson's first movie comes out 11 years after it was initially announced or the other trilogy comes out 10 years after it was announced. Either way, that is a long development period.
Then again, would Disney really release the first of Johnsons and then wait FOUR years to release the sequel? That would be pretty hard going on the fans. And looking at the semantics of those announcement details again, Johnson has Knives Out coming this year, which means he's already probably got a lot more free time to develop his Star Wars project as that heads closer to cinemas and before the intense marketing campaign kicks off.
Benioff and Weiss meanwhile said they plan to "get started" when Thrones ends in May. If that's from scratch, there's no way they're getting their movie out first.
The long and short of it is that while it's more likely that Johnson's comes first and is the complete trilogy at once, it's not entirely certain right now. If you were a gambling person, though, that's where you'd put your money, though.