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Movies

Star Wars: Episode IX delayed seven months after director switch

Live-action Aladdin and Artemis Fowl movie also get 2019 release dates.

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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.