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For almost a decade, the constant postponement of the Avatar sequels has become part running joke and part exasperated truth. Considering we were supposed to have already had the first sequel in front of us back in 2014, you can see why the latest projected release date of 2018 has been met with more skepticism than awe. Still, James Cameron is a perfectionist, and even he has something to say about his brainchild's release date woes. Though in Cameron's case, that message is that the wait will have been worth every second.
In celebration of tonight's New York premiere of Toruk - The First Flight, the official Cirque Du Soleil prequel tie-in to Avatar, Cameron spoke with Variety about the future of his record setting franchise. Like a friend who wants to make sure that their buddy is going to hold true to their promise, the publication inquired about whether that 2018 release date was still on the table or not. The Titanic director responded with the following statement:
We haven't moved that target yet, but we will if we need to. The important thing for me is not when the first one comes out but the cadence of the release pattern. I want them to be released as close together as possible. If it's an annual appointment to show up at Christmas, I want to make sure that we're able to fulfill on that promise.
While the shareholders and executives at 20th Century Fox undoubtedly felt a chill run up their backs, James Cameron's inability to compromise is pretty much what makes the continued wait for the Avatar sequels still worth it. It's been almost a decade since the first trip to Pandora broke all of the box office records that stood in its way, so mere curiosity isn't going to cut it at this point. The standard of perfectionism that Cameron swears by is the driving force that keeps interest in these four sequels going, meaning that whenever Avatar 2 does hit the market, the audience will be expecting quite a return on their patience. Then again, the same could be said about the first Avatar, as its trailers promised a similar mix of beautiful and massive adventures so many years ago.
It's easy to look at James Cameron's relatively lackadaisical pacing with his Avatar sequels and start cracking jokes about whether we'll ever see Jake Sully's continuing adventures in his new Na'vi body. But knowing that Cameron is not only crafting the story himself, but also creating brand new technology to help create the perfect version of his vision, does give the man a huge berth of leeway. In the battle of doing it fast or doing it right, James Cameron has been on the right path for quite some time now, and it's a method that's brought him nothing but success.