Back in 2009, James Cameron made history with Avatar, the most technologically-advanced and visually impressive film of its time that went on to become the highest-grossing film in cinema history. However, even despite Avatar's success, the path to gaining momentum on his franchise plans for Avatar, which will be made up of four sequels, has been slow at best. It's been seven years since the first film's release, and only just recently has it seemed like any progress is being made on the movies, with Cameron once again looking to push the technological limits of contemporary cinema farther than they've ever been before.
Right now, the long-awaited Avatar 2 has a release date set for December 21, 2018, giving Cameron just a little over two years to shoot, edit, and complete the film. Usually, that'd be enough time for a filmmaker to complete their blockbuster project, but with Cameron, a notoriously slow filmmaker, it seems to be pushing the boundaries of being realistic or not.
Apparently, one of the film's main stars seems to think so as well, and while recently speaking with THR, Sigourney Weaver seemed to cast doubt on the sequel's current release date. When asked about the film, Weaver said thinks it's doubtful it will actually be released in December 2018 after all, since they haven't even begun shooting it yet:
"We haven't started it, so I don't know how realistic that date is, but I think it's going to be very exciting. I've read three of the four [sequel's scripts,] and they're even more extraordinary than the first one."
Weaver's echoing some of her previous statements about the sequels' scripts here, which are said to be even grander in scope than the first film. Without having to take as much time to build the world and introduce and establish all of the franchise's main players too, Cameron will hopefully be able to spend more time on the sequel's story and characters than just the visuals and world he's creating on screen -- especially after many pointed out the first film's thin plot and heavy-handedness when it came to its environmental themes.
No matter when it ends up coming out though, it'll be a much different world than when Avatar was released in 2009, with films at much more sophisticated place technologically than they were before. Plus there will be a much more competitive landscape of blockbusters and franchises for Cameron to compete with than he did previously. It'll be interesting then to see if Avatar's technological advancements will still be enough fuel for audiences to come out in droves for a sequel almost a decade later, or if its appeal may have died down enough by then to make Avatar 2's success less certain than it might have been just a few years ago.
- Avatar 2 (2021) release date: Dec 17, 2021