If everything had gone to plan, we would be gearing up for the release of the second Avatar sequel this month. But, as you can tell, that didn’t quite happen. Director James Cameron’s plans expanded from two possible sequels to three and maybe even four, in the process pushing the release of the films back. And even now, some six years after the release of the original Avatar, Cameron is still fiddling about in getting the sequels underway.
Speaking with EW, Cameron admitted that even though he had individual writers working on the screenplays for each of his planned Avatar sequel, he is still tweaking things personally.
I’m in the process of doing another pass through all three scripts right now. Just refining. That’s in parallel with the design process. The design process is very mature at this point. We’ve been designing for about a year and a half. All the characters, settings and creatures are all pretty much [set].
Back in 2013, Cameron hired Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Shane Salerno (Savages) to pen Avatar 2, Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 respectively. In previous interviews, Cameron stated that the sequels would continue to explore the ecosystem of the moon Pandora, going into that world’s oceans, as well as some of the neighboring moons in the Alpha Centauri system.
The latest expectation for the sequels is that the first one would be released two years from now in December 2017. So presumably filming should begin sometime in the early part of next year. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang are all expected to return.
But the long delays that the Avatar sequels have suffered raises a big question – Will anyone still care about these movies by the time they reach theaters. Sure Avatar is the biggest box office grosser of all time. (Well, at least for the next few weeks.) But does anyone really talk about the movie anymore? The film doesn’t really seem to be part of the ongoing film discussion online nor has it left any kind of cultural impact where people are still quoting lines from it or making references to it just this scant half a decade later. While I am sure that Cameron is planning something he believes is amazing and special, will anyone really care about what he has to show us?