Given how much cash Avatar raked in ($2.7 billion worldwide according to IMDb), a sequel was pretty much inevitable. Typically, that sequel would be rushed into theaters as quickly as possible to feed fans’ cravings for more of Pandora. Avatar is James Cameron’s baby, however, and if there’s one thing James Cameron likes to do, it’s take his time. Now it seems the sequels may be a few years further away than we thought. Bleeding Cool is reporting that the Avatar sequels are still almost half a decade away.
That latest update comes from the lips of Avatar producer Jon Landau, who delivered the news after a preview screening of scenes from the new 3D version of Titanic. While the site doesn’t have an exact quote (recording devices were banned), they report that Landau said the first sequel was “four years away.” That puts Avatar 2‘s arrival sometime in 2016, or possibly Christmas of 2015, which is still a year later than the last rumored date of Christmas 2014.
Honestly, this news shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Cameron went over a decade between Titanic and Avatar, so this would actually be an improvement when it comes to timelines. The self-proclaimed “king of the world” is at least as interested in advancing filmmaking technology as he is in actually directing movies these days, so much of this delay is likely being spent inventing whatever crazy technology they need to realize his equally crazy vision. Given the one-time rumors than Avatar 2 might take place underwater, there’s simply no telling what the sequels will hold, but they will no doubt be visually spectacular.
I just hope a good chunk of that time is spent polishing up the screenplay. As stunning and gorgeous as Avatar was to watch in theaters, the story was underwhelming and the characters forgettable. I watched Aliens back to back with Avatar at one point, and that just made it all the more clear that Cameron had suffered the same malady as George Lucas — falling too much in love with his toys. I’m hoping Avatar 2 will recapture some of the old Cameron magic and make us truly care about the story, as opposed to simply oohing and aaahing at the pretty pictures.