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Star Wars: Episode IX delayed seven months after director switch

Entertainment Weekly logo Entertainment Weekly 9/12/2017 Devan Coggan
© Industrial Light & Magic/Lucasfilm

Just hours after J.J. Abrams officially signed on to direct Star Wars: Episode IX, Disney has pushed the film’s release date back seven months.

The as-yet-untitled Episode IX will now open Dec. 20, 2019, instead of May 24, 2019. Guy Ritchie’s live-action Aladdin movie will take Star Wars’ May 24 release date instead.

Episode IX’s new release date also means it will have some box office competition: Wonder Woman 2 is scheduled to hit theaters just one week before on Dec. 13, 2019.

The release date shuffle comes on the same day as Disney’s announcement that Abrams will return to the franchise after The Force Awakens and replace Colin Trevorrow as the director of Episode IX. Abrams will also co-write the script with Argo’s Chris Terrio.

Episode IX continues a Star Wars history of December release dates, with The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and Rogue One all hitting theaters shortly before Christmas. As for the untitled young Han Solo spin-off, that’s still dated for May 25, 2018, even after Ron Howard was brought in at the last minute to replace previous directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Disney also dated its untitled Christopher Robin film starring Ewan McGregor for Aug. 3, 2018, and an Artemis Fowl movie for Aug. 9, 2019. A new movie called Nicole is also scheduled for Nov. 8, 2019. Meanwhile, Mark Waters’ upcoming Magic Camp has lost its release date of April 6, 2018, and is now unset.

Related gallery: Facts about the Star Wars movies (via Photo Services): A Star Wars logo sign is seen atop a popcorn machine inside Rancho Obi-Wan, the world's largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia, in Petaluma, California on November 24, 2015. The collection, owned by Steve Sansweet, includes over 350,000 Star Wars items and is located at his home. From the United States, to Russia, China and Saudi Arabia, the franchise has spawned a remarkable global fan base arguably unheard of in movie history and spanning several generations. AFP PHOTO/ JOSH EDELSON / AFP / Josh Edelson (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images) Facts about the Star Wars movies

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