James Cameron Says ‘Avatar’ Sequel Delayed to Late 2017

We’ll have to wait a bit longer to return to Pandora.

Oscar-winning director James Cameron said that writing the three upcoming sequels to all-time box office champ Avatar is such a daunting task that he must delay the first sequel an entire year. The first sequel will now hit theaters in late 2017, eight years after the release of Avatar in 2009.

“There’s a layer of complexity in getting the story to work as a saga across three films that you don’t get when you’re making a stand-alone film,” Cameron said, in an interview conducted during a stop in Wellington, New Zealand, to promote the local film industry. It was a promotional event that included fellow director-of-epics Peter Jackson.

On the subject of Jackson, Cameron intends to follow in the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit helmer’s footsteps by releasing the three Avatar sequels over three consecutive years. Naturally, this means a protracted filming/production time for the movie, and a need to have the scripts locked down and free of the need for rewrites. Cameron stated his intention was to have all three scripts finished by this month, with the help of the writing team he’s heading. But the process has proven to be more grueling than he anticipated.

If nothing else, Cameron is keen on getting pre-production off the ground during the writing process, which should expedite filming once it comes time to finally start shooting. However, I wouldn’t expect this to mean we’ll get the film any sooner than Cameron’s projected “late 2017” release date.

“We’re writing three simultaneously. And we’ve done that so that everything tracks throughout the three films. We’re not just going to do one and then make up another one and another one after that,” he said. “And parallel with that, we’re doing all the design. So we’ve designed all the creatures and the environments.”

Twentieth Century Fox is probably going to follow the pattern of the original Avatar — and the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit films — and set the films for December release, as opposed to the summer. At least, that’s my impression from all this, although nothing has been confirmed one way or the other. It just seems like the most lucrative time for the movie to be released, especially since Cameron has had two all-time box office smashes hit in December, with Titanic and Avatar. Might as well make it a hat trick.

Granted, I could see the studio moving it if there’s any competition that December, such as Star Wars Episode VIII, or something from DC or Marvel. But I’d be willing to bet money that it’ll hit theaters in December.

I’m anxious to know what these three sequels will be about, especially since the story is apparently of such complexity and depth that they needed to be written simultaneously. I wasn’t as in love with the original as other people I knew, but I’m definitely intrigued by the prospect of returning to Pandora for a story that goes beyond the Dances With Wolves trappings of the original. So color me excited for this.

Via: Associated Press

James Cameron Says 'Avatar' Sequel Delayed to Late 2017

Credit: 20th Century Fox

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