James Cameron reveals the main cast of the Avatar sequels has officially wrapped production on the multi-film endeavor. Ever the perfectionist, the Oscar-winning director took his time developing followups to his 2009 epic sci-fi hit. By the time Avatar 2 debuts in theaters, 11 years will have passed since the premiere of the original, which was hailed as a revolutionary game changer for visual effects. As is par for the course with Cameron, he's looking to take things to the next level with the sequels, and the first will explore the underwater worlds of Pandora.
Piecing together the stories for not one, not two, but four Avatar installments and making sure the technology is up to Cameron's incredibly high standards didn't happen overnight, but progress on the ambitious project has been steadily moving along now. Filming on the sequels started in September 2017 as Cameron and crew work diligently to meet the planned December 2020 release date. Now, one vital step of this journey is complete, as the principal actors have wrapped their roles.
On the official Avatar Twitter account, Cameron shared a video message where he provided an update on the sequels. He mentioned the team is currently shooting stunt scenes on the performance capture stage, but the main actors are all done. Cameron specifically mentioned Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, and Kate Winslet in the clip, praising the work they did on the films. Check out the post in the space below:
James Cameron took a (very rare) break from filming on the performance capture stage to record a message to Avatar fans!— Avatar (@officialavatar) November 13, 2018
Watch for a progress update on the sequels and a brand new trailer for his long-time passion project, Alita: Battle Angel. #AvatarFamily @AlitaMovie pic.twitter.com/Vz6bqp73DA
Though Avatar 2 won't premiere until a couple of years from now, the nature of Pandora and its various inhabitants guarantees the film (and its sequels) will have rather extensive post-production processes. Even by modern tentpole standards, the Avatar franchise is heavily reliant on CGI, which requires a tremendous amount of work in order to look "right." Especially after the original movie raised the bar for moviemaking technology, Cameron isn't going to skimp in this department. Much like the first one, he wants the followups to be one-of-a-kind theatrical experiences that leave audiences awestruck. Fortunately, he and his team have plenty of time to finalize all of the necessary visual effects. As a comparison, Avatar was in principal photography during 2007 and hit theaters in 2009.
It's no secret that the film industry landscape dramatically changed since Avatar came out, as there are numerous franchises constantly in the public eye. And as many have pointed out in the past nine years - despite its whopping $2.7 billion worldwide gross - Avatar's pop culture footprint isn't as substantial as Marvel or Star Wars, causing some to become skeptical of the sequel's prospects. However, it's worth pointing out that people have doubted Cameron before, only to be proven wrong in a big way. It remains to be seen if his hot streak can continue, but if Avatar 2 does fall short, it won't be for lack of trying.
Source: Avatar Twitter
- Avatar 2 (2021) release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Avatar 3 (2023) release date: Dec 22, 2023
- Avatar 4 (2025) release date: Dec 19, 2025
- Avatar 5 (2027) release date: Dec 17, 2027