A couple of days ago we speculated on whether or not the release date of December 25 2017 for Avatar 2 would be kept after Star Wars: Episode VIII got bumped to the 17th of the same month. Wonder no more. Avatar 2 is now delayed again, until at least sometime in 2018. But don’t go thinking James Cameron is running scared from Kylo Ren and the First Order.
The Avatar sequel, and thus it’s sequels, have been delayed several times already. Originally rumoured for a 2014 debut, this came and went as did expected release dates in 2015, 2016 before December 25 2017 was booked officially. Given the fact that Avatar 2: Procrastination, as it’s not called, hasn’t even started shooting yet, and that the film may require the odd special effect or two, the cancellation of it’s launch at the end of this year should come as no surprise. The Wrap reports that the studio wouldn’t issue a comment and it’s unlikely that Disney would have moved Star Wars: Episode VIII to ten days before the Avatar sequel if they weren’t aware Cameron’s return to Pandora was also delayed once more. Especially if you factor in knowledge that they’re working with Cameron on an Avatar park attraction. And as if James Cameron would run from anything?! Here’s what he had to say about the then planned December 2017 release date:
“At least, that’s what we’ve announced. But I don’t consider that to be as important as the fact that when we get all three films done, we drop them a year apart. I call it a meta-narrative that runs across the three movies. Each film stands alone, but it also tells one much larger story.”
When you think of Avatar, you also probably think of mammoth box office. It is still the worldwide #1 with $2.788bn and whilst Star Wars: The Force Awakens has performed spectacularly, it’s still got almost £1bn to go before it reaches that. But the chances of any sequels pulling off similar numbers is remote. Back in 2009 Avatar pretty much revolutionised 3D viewing, with it’s immersive world-building bringing people back for repeated viewings. Seven years and hundreds of terrible post-shoot 3D conversions later, combined with a real jadeness for the technology means that whilst the Pandoric sequels will make a lot of money, don’t expect any records to topple.
Featuring the return of cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver, Avatar 2 and it’s sequels will be produced by Cameron and Jon Landau at Lightstorm Entertainment. The sequels are written by Cameron along with Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, Josh Friedman, and Shane Salerno.