Avatar is the franchise that was spawn in 2009 to huge acclaim. The life long passion project of James Cameron was years in the waiting as the filmmaker waited on the right technology to become available and when he did, the $237m extravaganza turned into a $2.788b colossus of a title.
Fast forward 8 years to today, and fans of the blockbuster are still holding out for a sequel. Cameron has made contrarian comments to the press about his plans for a follow up and while 2013 was long mooted, we now know that Avatar 2 won't be debuting until 2020. Making his thoughts known this week, Cameron has given an outline for all 4 sequels in the series.
All According To (New) Plan For James and Co.
Posting on social media an image of the crew working behind the scenes, Cameron finally gave some detail about the scheduling.
"Great to be working with the best team in the business!" he posted. "Avatar takes flight as we begin concurrent production on four sequels. The journey continues December 18, 2020, December 17, 2021, December 20, 2024 and December 19, 2025!"
Appearing at CinemaCon in 2016, Cameron had originally wanted to create a trilogy of movies. Seeing that the narrative had more scope, he has opted for 5 instead.
"We have decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic project, making four epic films, each of which stands alone but together forms a complete saga. Trust me, these are films that were designed to be seen in theaters and on the big screen first."
Cameron: Avatar 1 Took Ages, So Why The Impatience?
As questions began to arose about the delays, the director explained that production is focused on the franchise as a whole, putting the building blocks in place until the final installment airs in 2025.
"What people have to understand is that this is a cadence of releases," Cameron remarked. "So, we're not making Avatar 2, we're making Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5. It's an epic undertaking. It's not unlike building the Three Gorges dam. So 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. It took us four-and-a-half years to make one movie and now we're making four. We're full tilt boogie right now. This is my day job and pretty soon we'll be 24/7. We're pretty well designed on all our creatures and sets. It's pretty exciting stuff. I wish I could share with the world. But we have to preserve a certain amount of showmanship and we're going to draw that curtain when the time is right."
Cameron is co-writing the screenplays for the franchise alongside Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Shane Salerno.