James Cameron recently explained why he isn’t concerned about the long delay with the Avatar sequels. Cameron is the type of director who likes to take his time with his films. Has directed only eight feature films since the start of his career in 1978 — almost 40 years ago — of which only one has released this century: Avatar. The director first conceived the story of Avatar in the early ’90s, but he knew the technology wasn’t up to par with what he wanted to accomplish, so he waited over a decade to realize his vision on the big screen.
It took 15 years for Cameron to release Avatar, and it’s taking another 11 years for its sequel to hit theaters. Ever since Avatar broke box office records around the world and ushered in an era of 3D movies back in 2009, people have known that a sequel would be coming. However, no one knew when. Avatar 2 has been delayed numerous times, for several different reasons, but it has finally been given a definitive release date in December 2020.
The long gap between Avatar and Avatar 2 may be cause for concern. Production delays — and delays in general — are typically viewed negatively in Hollywood, yet it’s something that’s not worrying Cameron. While promoting the opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, Cameron told CNN that he’s not concerned about the delays or the long gap between the original film and the sequels:
“It was a seven-year gap between The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, [a] seven-year gap between Alien and Aliens. It’s gonna be obviously more like a ten-year gap between Avatar and Avatar 2. But Avatar 2 you are going to with not the promise, but the certainty of three more films beyond that, and that’s a very different concept with the audience. And a lot of the delay has been around creating that overall vision.”
The long-awaited Avatar sequel was originally supposed to release in 2014, with another sequel arriving the following year, but both films were then delayed so that Cameron could expand the story with yet another sequel, thus bringing the total to three sequels in development. The movies were given release dates every December beginning in 2016. Of course, they didn’t meet that scheduled date either, and they were delayed again, this time to 2018. That’s no longer happening.
Last year, Cameron announced plans to release another Avatar sequel in addition to the three that were already in development. Then, earlier this year, Cameron revealed that they will not be releasing Avatar 2 next year, presumably to allow himself more time to get the story (and the overall vision) right. After all these years, things finally seem to be on track, with the casting process underway and filming expected to commence this fall. All four Avatar sequels will release back-to-back, beginning in December 2020.