Although it feels like a sequel to “Avatar” has been in the works since the original debuted in 2009, director James Cameron has been hard at work trying to get another three installments in the franchise made. However, despite his best efforts, the “Avatar” sequels continue to get postponed.
In December 2015 Cameron made some comments to the Montreal Gazette in which he let it slip that he was projecting a Christmas 2017 release for “Avatar 2.” Unfortunately, it seems now that the director spoke too soon as the film has reportedly been delayed once again to a yet undisclosed date.
The Wrap reports that sources close to the movie have said that it will in fact not be ready for a Christmas 2017 release, although 20th Century Fox declined to comment on the matter. The outlet notes that this is the second delay the movie has faced. Previously, “Avatar 2” was supposed to hit theaters during Christmas 2016. The reason for all the delays apparently has to do with Cameron’s very specific vision for both how the films should be shot and how they should be released.
In the original interview where he called for a Christmas 2017 release, the acclaimed director even mentioned that the date was significantly less important to him than maintaining the quality of the film’s schedule.
“I don’t consider that to be as important as the fact that when we get all three films done, we drop them a year apart,” he said at the time. “I call it a meta-narrative that runs across the three movies. Each film stands alone, but it also tells one much larger story.”
“Avatar” is expected to launch into a 4-movie franchise, with the original standing on its own and the following three being shot simultaneously to tell one coherent story. While that sounds like an interesting way to produce movies, it’s also directly responsible for postponing the sequel upwards of eight years.
Although “Avatar” will be delayed, the news actually came as a pleasant surprise to “Star Wars” fans, who were worried about the highly anticipated “Episode 8” installment having to battle “Avatar 2” at the Christmas box office. It was revealed on Wednesday that “Star Wars 8” will be delayed until Dec. 15, 2017, which made many think that the two franchises would have to fight for box office supremacy. However, as SlashFilm notes, Disney wouldn’t benefit at all from having “Avatar” and “Star Wars” compete. The Mouse House has a stake in both franchises and releasing them around the same time would not only cannibalize sales for each, it would limit the number of IMAX screens each movie has available to play on.