Walt Disney Studios has announced new release dates for upcoming films from two of its major franchises: Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Star Wars: Episode VIII has been pushed back from its previously announced May 26, 2017 debut to December 15, 2017. The move was influenced by The Force Awakens’ astounding performance as the first Star Wars movie to premiere in December — smashing all kinds of box office records and currently on track to become the highest grossing domestic release of all time with over $861 million to-date, and the third biggest global release ever with $1.887 billion.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will now open in Episode VIII’s prior slot, opening May 26, 2017 instead of July 7. The last Pirates installment also opened in late May and grossed $1 billion at the box office.
Currently in pre-production, Star Wars: Episode VIII is written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper) and will begin principal photography next month in London. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will produce, with J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin as exec producers.
Now in post-production, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales sees stars Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush and Orlando Bloom returning to their roles as Captain Jack Sparrow, Barbossa and Will Turner to face a terrifying new adversary, Captain Salazar, played by Javier Bardem. The sequel is helmed by European director/producer duo Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki), with Jerry Bruckheimer producing.