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A long time ago, over seven years to be precise, James Cameron gave the world Avatar, which went on to blossom into the most successful film ever released -- with a gross of $2.788 billion. Since then, we've been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for Avatar's sequels to at least go into production. While proposed release dates have come and gone, James Cameron has now given us the date that he plans to start working with the actors on Avatar 2. But they won't just be working on Avatar 2, though, because Cameron has insisted that he's basically approaching all four sequels as one film.
James Cameron recently revealed that he's not just currently focusing on Avatar 2, but he's looking at the bigger picture and is just as focused on Avatar 3, 4, and 5, as well. James Cameron made this revelation during his recent chat with the Daily Beast, during which he also confirmed that he's going to be working with the actors from August, while between now and then he's booked in for production every day. James Cameron explained,
The thing is, my focus isn't on Avatar 2. My focus is on Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5 equally. That's exactly how I'm approaching it. They've all been developed equally. I've just finished the script to Avatar 5. I'm now starting the process of active prep. I'll be working with the actors in the capture volume in August, so I'm booked in production every day between now and then. Our volume is up and running, and everything is designed, and so we're going full-guns right now. I feel like I've been let out of jail, because I've been in the writing cave for the last two years. I'm actually enjoying life. I don't enjoy writing. I wouldn't wish writing on a dog.
Currently Avatar 2 is scheduled for release in December 2018, with its follow-ups then arriving in December 2020, 2022, and 2023, respectively. Considering the huge undertaking and approach that James Cameron has planned not just for Avatar 2, but for its 3 sequels, too, it's going to be a very tight schedule for the director, and there's every chance that he might push Avatar 2 back even further. At this point, after a gap of at least 9 years between films, what's six more months?
But while it's easy to be glib and feel annoyed that James Cameron has taken so long to get Avatar 2 to the big-screen, there's a very good reason to feel excited about the stretch of time, too. That's because James Cameron gave himself seven years between The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which turned out to arguably be the greatest sequel ever released, as well as one of the best action films ever. Plus, there were seven years between Ridley Scott's Alien and James Cameron's follow-up Aliens, too, which somehow managed to nearly eclipse the original, extend the story and characters, while being distinctly original, too.
If James Cameron can do the same with Avatar 2 then the nine-year wait will actually have been worth it. Sadly we've still got 23 months left to wait and see what he does with the blockbuster, as Avatar 2 is specifically scheduled for release on December 21, 2018.