James Cameron's Avatar 2 has been pushed to December 2021, and the subsequent three sequels will be released every other year after. The long-awaited sequel was originally set to release in 2020.
Released in 2009, Avatar was James Cameron's epic return to directing feature films, over a decade after the massive success of Titanic. Cameron redirected his focus to underwater documentaries, like Ghosts of the Abyss and Aliens of the Deep, before making a record-breaking return to Hollywood, with Avatar becoming the first film to cross the $2 billion dollar mark (a feat Avengers: Endgame just achieved as well). Now, Cameron is returning to the Avatar franchise with four sequels in development, with the first film's original cast set to return, including Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lange, Sigourney Weaver, and Giovanni Ribisi. However, fans will have to wait a bit longer for the first sequel, which was originally slated to release in 2020.
Walt Disney Studios released its upcoming slate of films, including everything from new Star Wars films to adaptations like Artemis Fowl, stretching all the way to 2027. And, according to the new schedule, it's been confirmed that Avatar 2 will be released on December 17, 2021, as opposed to its initial release date on December 18, 2020. It's also been confirmed that Avatar 3 will be released December 22, 2023 (originally slated for December 17, 2021), Avatar 4 will be released December 19, 2025 (originally slated for December 20, 2024), and Avatar 5 will be released December 17, 2027 (originally slated for December 19, 2025).
After Disney acquired Fox, some changes were inevitable - and this release schedule is the first significant example of how Disney is handling the near-future of its investment. However, Avatar is hardly Disney's only juggernaut of a franchise, and the schedule also details big developments in a galaxy far, far away with a host of new Star Wars films releasing over the span of the next seven years, starting in 2022. Though it hasn't been confirmed what specific titles will fit into these slots, it's possible that the schedule refers to either Rian Johnson's or David Benioff and D.B. Weiss' upcoming Star Wars trilogies.
As for Avatar 2 and its subsequent sequels, Cameron already put a lot on his plate promising so many films in such a short period of time. So, whether the date changes have to do with Cameron needing more time with effects or Disney simply preferring his films weren't rushed remains to be seen. That said, given Cameron's track record with long gaps between his projects, year-long delays for his next four films is nothing by comparison.
Source: Walt Disney Studios
- Avatar 3 (2023) release date: Dec 22, 2023
- Avatar 4 (2025) release date: Dec 19, 2025
- Avatar 5 (2027) release date: Dec 17, 2027
- Avatar 2 (2021) release date: Dec 17, 2021