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For as much work as James Cameron has been putting into his upcoming Avatar sequels, much of it has been happening under the radar. The next film in the series seems like it has been in preproduction for the better part of the last decade, but now it looks like the next film is about to shift into high gear. James Cameron is just about ready to get started making a movie after the new year.

Originally set for a Christmas 2016 release date, Avatar 2 was pushed back to 2017 about a year ago due to the difficulties that Cameron was having putting together the scripts for all three planned sequels. While the writing is still not quite finished, it looks like it’s nearly done which means the writer/director will be ready to push the green light on the sequel sometime next month.
We have design more or less finished, which is an enormous task. It’s been about a two-year task. [We’ve finished] all the creatures and the landscapes, and the new worlds within the world of Pandora that you see. The writing is ongoing, but almost finished. Technical development is done. Stages are done. Infrastructure. So we’re really poised to start after the first of the year.

The work that James Cameron has been doing to properly build the world of Pandora for the next three films has been extensive. We know it’s been very important to him to make three movies that work together as parts of a larger story. This has been the primary reason that these sequels have taken so long. Much like what Peter Jackson did with the Lord of the Rings films, Cameron has been putting together not one movie, but three, before filming on any of them even begins.

Interestingly, Cameron also tells Collider that the December 2017 may still not be set in stone. What is clear is that the next three movies will be released one year apart from each other so once Avatar 2 hits, whenever that happens to be, we can be confident the next two films are on the way.

If filming is really set to start in January, that could make for a very busy 2016 for Zoe Saldana. The queen of the franchise is set to reprise her role as Neytiri in Avatar 2 but will also be returning as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 which is also looking to start filming early next year. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become the big man on campus in recent years, but Avatar is still the highest grossing movie ever (for the time being). Who’s going to win that battle?
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