James Cameron has offered assurances that the final of his four Avatar sequels will be released on-schedule in 2025. Cameron's original 2009 sci-fi blockbuster is now on its way to becoming a full-fledged franchise over the next several years, with a nearly annual roll-out of four sequels starting in 2020, only ever skipping 2022 and 2023 (in between Avatar 3 and Avatar 4).
Nabbing more than $2 billion in the box office, Avatar breezed its way to becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time, internationally. However, with a slew of new blockbusters having been released since then, carefully picking release dates for the next four installments in the franchise is as crucial as anything else, concerning the venture. For years now, the Avatar sequels' rollout has been pushed back again and again, to the point where many people remain skeptical about whether or not this new release timetable will actually stick. Cameron, for his part, has no such concerns himself.
The veteran filmmaker sat down with THR and extensively talked about a slew of different topics, including his controversial comments regarding Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman, as well as his plans for expanding the Avatar mythology on the big screen. Addressing concerns about the possibility of the Avatar follow-ups once again hitting production snags, causing additional delays, Cameron sounded very certain regarding the project's timeframe, saying "No, we're good. We got this". He later added that a future theatrical re-release of the original Avatar (to refresh audiences' memories ahead of the sequels' release) isn't out of the question:
That's a great idea. Any chance I get to re-release my films so that people can see them on the big screen, the way they are meant to be seen … I'll never say no. We can remaster the film, we can do high dynamic range, things like that, so we can punch it up.
Naturally, films that bank a lot on computer-generated graphics (like Avatar) simply cannot be rushed. With Cameron undoubtedly motivated to exceed expectations and continue the massive box office success of the original Avatar via its sequels, there's no doubt that the filmmaker will use all his tricks to make sure that his followups are an impressive as possible. All the same, the Avatar franchise's success is largely dependent on moviegoing audience's tastes and preferences - that is, if they are still intrigued by the lore that was first introduced to them in 2009.
Plot details for the Avatar sequels are scarce right now, but they are said to focus on Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri's (Zoe Saldana) newfound family. Meanwhile, both Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang (who played Dr. Grace Augustin and Col. Miles Quaritch in Avatar, respectively) are coming back for the sequels too - though given their demise in Avatar, it is unknown how their characters will be reintroduced in the sequels.
With four epic blockbusters on Cameron's docket, he has his work cut for him in the next several years. Principal photography on the Avatar sequels is now underway and word has it that the production has a combined budget of over $1 billion dollars, which is massive even for a four-parter. However, if these sequels deliver box office results anywhere near what the first Avatar, then this should prove to be a very smart investment.
- 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