The Force might have recently been awakened, but Disney has hit the snooze button on the next installment of the sci-fi film series.
Walt Disney Co. announced that the release date for the follow-up to the blockbuster The Force Awakens has been pushed back from May 2017 to 15 December 2017, Variety reports.
The company gave no reason for the shift, but it is rumored that Rian Johnson is rewriting Episode VIII after taking the reins from J.J. Abrams after the latest release.
The move could also be as a result of the lucrative return made on the holiday release of The Force Awakens. Since its release on 18 December last year, it has gone on to become the highest-grossing movie in U.S. history, and is also the third highest-grossing movie worldwide with a return currently at $1.88 billion.
Along with Star Wars, the studio moved up the release date of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales from July 7, 2017 to May 26, 2017.
The delay of the Star Wars release could potentially be bad news for Warner Bros., who have penciled in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One for release on December 15, 2007.