James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ sequel feels like it’s been a lifetime in the making, with the follow-up to the 2009 sci-fi adventure still on its way.
Despite the original taking a staggering $2.8 billion at the box office and being the highest-grossing movie of all time (not taking into account inflation), eight years on and we appear no closer to seeing part two materialise.
What’s more, Cameron has confirmed a third, fourth, and fifth instalment will be made, each released in 2020, 2022, 2023. However, the next part has already been postponed from its original 2014 release, to 2017, and then to 2018. But with the movies being made collectively it’s unclear when the rest will hit cinemas if, as is being reported, there’s now no official date for ‘Avatar 2’. It’s all rather frustrating and confusing, least of all for fans.
In the Toronto Star, director James Cameron revealed that ‘Avatar 2’ is now delayed yet again, but despite its unconfirmed arrival he did say the remaining four sequels are all one giant entity in terms of getting them made.
“Well, 2018 is not happening. We haven’t announced a firm release date. What people have to understand is that this is a cadence of releases. So we’re not making ‘Avatar 2.’ We’re making ‘Avatar 2,’ ‘3,’ ‘4,’ and ‘5.’ It’s an epic undertaking.”
With that in mind, here’s everything we know so far.
Who’s behind them?
James Cameron is again writing and directing the collection. He’s in charge of all four ‘Avatar’ movies planned right up until 2023, although any of these scheduled dates is subject to change now; even pushed back a couple of years. He said just this year, “I know where I’m going to be for the next eight years of my life. It’s not an unreasonable time frame if you think about it.” Meaning everything’s delayed a further two years.
Who’s in it?
The main cast from the first film are back for each follow-up. This includes Sam Worthington as lead Jake Sully, with Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang – all of who featured prominently in the first movie. Interestingly, the fifth doesn’t have a confirmed cast at present so it could be all-change by then. It is, however, believed these same faces will return to see out the saga.
These four are contractually obliged to return for more Na’vi adventures, but since signing up for the original over a decade ago, both Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana have become big Hollywood stars. The former has had mixed successes with the good (‘Hacksaw Ridge’, ‘Cake’), the bad (‘Clash of the Titans’), and the somewhere in between (‘Sabotage’).
Saldana, on the other hand, has been the biggest success, having appeared regularly in the ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ franchises.
As of yet it’s unknown who will make up the rest of the support, but suffice to say it’ll likely consist of an array of well-known and fresh names to bolster Cameron’s epic franchise.
What’s it about?
Very little has been revealed concerning plots beyond ‘Avatar 2’, although we do know that it will be going back to Pandora. Interestingly, Cameron’s also said that the movies can be viewed as standalone films, which is hard to imagine.
The legendary director teased about how the sequel was shaping up just over 15 months ago, when he said, “You’ll s**t yourself,” when discussing its opening. Set several years after ‘Avatar’, the story picks up when Sully (Worthington) is now the Chieftain and Neytiri (Saldana) the High Priestess of their clan. Apparently this narrative will revolve around their kids, who are currently not yet cast.
Cameron also said years ago that we’d be seeing a lot more of the planet’s oceans and rain forests, so maintaining a story and setting in an organic, symbiotic manner is at least some consistency to anticipate.
Why should we be excited?
Without getting too far ahead of ourselves it’s not a bad thing to at least anticipate ‘Avatar 2’. The first film used some groundbreaking CGI, motion capture, and technology which amazed audiences and even critics by how it had been achieved.
With Cameron being such an innovator when it comes to special effects (just look back to 1990’s ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’ as a prime example) it’s safe to say he’ll be using state of the art technology to make the next chapter even more visually stunning.
And while there’s admittedly plenty out there who are already bored of or who’ve lost interest in extending their ‘Avatar’ experience beyond the first, the lengthy hiatus follows many other sequels that have taken years to come to fruition. Last year’s ‘Finding Dory’ came out 13 years after ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Zoolander’s’ sequel took 15 years. So any positive buzz it gets will attract original fans back as well as a newer generation of cinema goers who might not have been old enough to have seen the original in 2009.
When can we expect it?
Logic prevails that if ‘Avatar 2’ is delayed then the subsequent sequels will be. That said, if all four are being filmed together as Cameron claims – despite it being a massive ask – then even if the second is held up, the staggered releases may still be on track by the time the third or fourth emerges from the cutting room.
There will surely be a plethora of ‘Avatar’ developments over the coming months and years, so we’ll update you as and when with any further news.
With ‘Avatar 2’ delayed from its 2018 release, there’s no current release date announced.
‘Avatar 3’ is due out in 2020, ‘Avatar 3’ set for 2022, and ‘Avatar 4’ for 2023. All are subject o change, mind.