It’s beginning to look like we may never see a sequel to James Cameron’s 2009 box office behemoth, Avatar. A follow-up to the film was initially slated to hit theaters in December 2016, with subsequent movies to follow on a yearly schedule. However, last year Cameron pushed the first sequel back to late 2017, noting “a layer of complexity in getting the story to work as a saga.” Now, according to TheWrap, the movie has once again been pushed back, with no release date in sight.
It’s unclear whether the decision to scrap the prime holiday spot had anything to do with Disney announcing plans to push Star Wars Episode VIII from its summer perch to December 15, 2017. Nevertheless, as fun as it would be watch that matchup, the powers that be would likely avoid a collision that could impact both movies’ box office haul.
The long delay isn’t completely surprising. Cameron is known as a perfectionist and he’s reportedly filming three sequels at once. “I’m in the process of doing another pass through all three scripts right now,” the director told EW in December. “Just refining. That’s in parallel with the design process … We’ve been designing for about a year and a half. All the characters, settings and creatures are pretty much [set].”
Cameron admitted feeling pressure to live up to the first film’s success: “Obviously, expectations are going to be very high on these films, especially on Avatar 2, to make sure it wasn’t just some big fluke the first time. So we’ve got to deliver. I’ve created a nice rod for my own back, so they say.”
At some point, the more pressing question will be: Does anyone care about Avatar any more?