To the surprise of possibly no one, except for maybe the executives at 20th Century Fox, it looks like we’re going to have to wait longer for the first of the Avatar sequels. Avatar 2, the first of four sequels in development for James Cameron‘s 2009 blockbuster, was put on the calendar for December 2018 last year, but the man himself is now saying, “Not so fast.” If you thought that even James Cameron could pull together four big budget sequels in a year and a half and have the first one ready for next Christmas, think again.
“Well, 2018 is not happening,” Cameron said in an interview with the Toronto Star. “We haven’t announced a firm release date. What people have to understand is that this is a cadence of releases. So we’re not making Avatar 2. We’re making Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5. It’s an epic undertaking.”
Epic, not easy. It always seemed that Fox was being ambitious with the timetable, especially when you look at the first Avatar, which began principal photography over 30 months prior to the film’s release. Would it make sense that Cameron would shoot back-to-back-to-back-to-back sequels with 20 months before the release of the first film in the series. In fact, Cameron himself had a very specific timeline in mind.
“So I know where I’m going to be for the next eight years of my life,” Cameron explained. “It’s not an unreasonable time frame if you think about it. It took us four-and-a-half years to make one movie and now we’re making four. We’re full tilt boogie right now. This is my day job and pretty soon we’ll be 24-7. We’re pretty well designed on all our creatures and sets.”
Obviously, Cameron gave no other details. “It’s pretty exciting stuff,” Cameron added. “I wish I could share with the world. But we have to preserve a certain amount of showmanship and we’re going to draw that curtain when the time is right.”
So back to the drawing board with the Avatar sequels release dates. When will be see them? Well production is expected to start at Manhattan Beach on August 15, so at the bare minimum, 2020 would likely be the earliest we will see Avatar 2. Stay tuned.