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Against all odds, logic, and reason, it looks like Avatar 2 may actually happen. Most of the old band is back together, and now the sequel has brought back another character from the original film. Joel David Moore played the role of scientist Norm Spellman in the first film, and now it's been reported that he'll be back to reprise the role in the forthcoming Avatar 2 as well as, apparently, the other sequels as well.
We meet the character of Norm Spellman early in the events of the original Avatar. He's an anthropologist studying Na'vi and he was a friend of Jake Sully's twin brother Tom when he was part of the Avatar program. Norm was also an Avatar driver who explored the alien world alongside Jake and also fought alongside him with the Na'vi in the battle against the Resources Development Administration.
Deadline has the news that Joel David Moore is being brought back for Avatar 2. It's not too shocking all things considered. While the rest of the humans are driven off the planet at the end of the original film, Moore's character stays behind with the rest of our main characters, if he wasn't in the movie it would be an odd omission.
Of course, just because we now know that Joel David Moore is in Avatar 2, it doesn't mean that we have the slightest idea what sort of part he'll play in the story. Everything we know about the sequel is that it will be focused on the waters of Pandora, but that's about where the information ends.
James Cameron had planned to produce additional Avatar sequels pretty much since the beginning but for the better part of a decade, the films were stuck in development hell. What's more, plans for the movies only became more ambitious and the number of movies steadily increased to the point where we're now expecting four more movies to be released between now and 2025.
Joel David Moore joins other returning Avatar players Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang. Cliff Curtis has also joined the cast in a brand new role, Tonowari, the ruler of Pandora's reef dwelling peoples. Like Moore, Curtis is on board for the rest of the scheduled Avatar films, not just the next one.
Avatar 2 is currently scheduled for release on December 18, 2020. The film saw many different release dates come and go over the last several years, however, it seems like this time the movie might actually make it. According to Zoe Saldana, rehearsals for the Avatar sequels, which are going into production all at once, will actually be starting this month. Once the ball starts rolling then momentum should be able to keep production on track, even if that's the only thing that does.