Those waiting for a return to Pandora, the world created by James Cameron for the 2009 film Avatar, will find that their flight has been delayed a year.
Speaking with the Associated Press (via Variety), Cameron confirmed that production on the planned trilogy of sequels has been pushed back by almost a year, with the first arriving in theaters in December 2017, 12 months from its previously announced date.
Variety is calling the director’s statement a confirmation of rumors that no shooting scripts for the three films, which are planned to be shot concurrently, have been turned into studio 20th Century Fox. This delay has had the ripple effect of affecting the studio’s ability to proceed with budgeting and other pre-production processes. Cameron is planning on shooting the three films concurrently.
Currently, Cameron is collaborating with Josh Friedman (War Of The Worlds), Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes) and Shane Salerno (Savages) on the screenplays for the three sequels.
This is not the first time that the Avatar sequels have been postponed. Originally, two follow ups were announced in 2011 for December 2014 and 2015. It wasn’t until the two sequels transformed into a trilogy of follow-ups that the just vacated dates of December 2016, 2017 and 2018 were first announced.
But as we get further away from the original’s film release will people’s desire to see sequels wane? Avatar certainly doesn’t seem to come up much, if it all, in conversation today, does it? Can Cameron bring more to the sequels beyond a skeletal story and some impressive cinematical technological advancements and excite ticket buyers into returning? Well, he now has an extra year to get it right.