Will The Avatar Sequels Ever Be Released?
Published on June 8, 2019
Have you been anxiously awaiting the release of the Avatar sequels? So is James Cameron, who has pushed back the dates for impending follow-ups since he first announced them in 2010. Why, you might ask? Well, the trilogy that was anticipated to be released has turned into a quadrilogy. Read on to find out if the Avatar sequels will ever be released.
When the first Avatar film hit theaters in 2009, it received massive critical acclaim for its stunning visual effects and unique storyline. The audience demanded an encore, and James Cameron confidently assured them that he was working on Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 in late 2010. But their theatrical release hasn’t happened yet. Considering that Cameron’s first installment of Avatar took 15 years to make, it’s no surprise that his sequels have been super delayed.
Originally, Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 were scheduled to be released in 2014 and 2015, respectively. However, things changed in 2012, when Avatar producer Jon Landau made some ominous comments about the release date. During an interview with Empire, Landau shared “We’re not naming dates, but I think 2014 will be a tough date for us to make. It’s about getting it right … movies make release dates; release dates don’t make movies.”
The Real Unobtainium
The real unobtainium has been getting some actual deets about the Avatar sequel release dates. In late 2012, Cameron mentioned that he’d be adding a fourth movie to the already-stalled franchise. Not only that, but Cameron also purchased 2,500 acres of territory in New Zealand as the backdrop for the illusive sequels. In fact, the Government of New Zealand confirmed that Cameron would be shooting all three movies in their beautiful country in 2013.
Since the sequel’s scripts weren’t even fully conceived as of 2013, there was no way they’d reach their intended release date. This was reaffirmed when Fox pushed the dates for Avatar 2 back again to December 2016. Of course, the studios then changed the release date of Avatar 2 to 2017. During a promotional tour in New Zealand, Cameron stated that “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. … 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.”
Return of the Na’vi
So when will the Na’vi return to the big screen? The answer is a very complicated one. In April 2016, Cameron shared that he was planning four Avatar sequels, and the first film would be released in December 2018. However, the director later told the Toronto Star that “2018 is not happening” in 2017. After what seemed like a millennium, Fox announced the release dates for the four Avatar sequels, which were scheduled to be debuted on December 18, 2020; December 17, 2021; December 20, 2024; and December 19, 2025.
However, fans were worried that these tentative dates would change again when Disney purchased 21st Century Fox in March 2019. And they definitely had reason to be concerned, as Disney confirmed their greatest fears: another filming delay. The new official dates are as follows: December 17, 2021 for Avatar 2; December 22, 2023 for Avatar 3; December 19, 2025 for Avatar 4; and December 17, 2027 for Avatar 5. So there you have it, folks. If you can count on anything, it’s another delay. Fingers crossed that we’ll see Avatar 2 in theaters in 2021!