Avatar 2 was supposed to be released in Christmas 2018, but James Cameron says that’s “not happening.”
The sequel has now been pushed back three times from its original 2014 release date. In an interview with the Toronto Star, Cameron stated, “2018 is not happening,” which either means that Avatar 2’s 2018 release date is no longer realistic or that Cameron has traveled into the future and is trying to tell us that the year itself is “not happening” because the world is ending. At any rate, the director explained the difficult, masochistic process of trying to shoot four sequels at once:
“We haven’t announced a firm release date. What people have to understand is that this is a cadence of releases. 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.”
It’s an exciting, immense headache that filmmakers presume will be worth it since Avatar won Oscars, was a visual marvel, and remains the highest grossing movie despite not being that great of a film. What would be entertaining is if Avatar 2 sank like a gigantic ship after all this work, thus teaching Hollywood a lesson about blockbusters.
The other sequels we don’t need—Avatars 3, 4 and 5—were previously set for Christmas releases in 2020, 2022, and 2023, respectively, if we’re still around. Cameron didn’t clarify if those dates are sticking.