It is puzzling for a historically successful blockbuster such as James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar to not have as large a worldwide cultural presence as other films of its caliber (Star Wars, Titanic, etc.). Until very recently, Avatar has neither gained the public consciousness nor ancillary market expansion necessary to garner true franchise status to match Marvel or The Fast and the Furious. Aside from the new Pandora-themed section at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, not much new forward momentum has been gained for the brand due to the long gestation of the list of sequels.
In an interview with The Star, director Cameron now confirms that first sequel, Avatar 2, will not be making its 2018 release date.
Well, 2018 is not happening. 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. It’s not unlike building the Three Gorges dam. (Laughs) So I know where I’m going to be for the next eight years of my life. 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. It’s pretty exciting stuff. 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.
Initially, 20th Century Fox had announced the first sequel’s release date for December 2018, along with the following three sequels for December release dates in 2020, 2022, and 2023. It is now likely that that plan will be altered to accommodate the delays.
Among the things confirmed for the film, Avatar 2 is to take place in Pandora’s oceans and it set to feature the return of Sam Worthington (The Shack), Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy), Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver (Finding Dory).