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Today is an interesting day in Avatar history, as if the plans released by James Cameron and the 20th Century Studios team in 2017 had come to fruition, we’d all be watching Avatar 2 in a theater near us. But, between 2020 being the year that it is, and production of four Avatar sequels being delayed more than once in the past decade or so, we’re not going to see Avatar 2 until 2022. However, that film, as well as Avatar 3, feel a lot more real after a recent development, as writer/director James Cameron is celebrating the wrap of live-action photography with some of his co-workers.
One such colleague, series producer Jon Landau, has the photo to prove it too. Fresh off of James Cameron’s recent announcement that filming on the Avatar sequels has come to a close for 2020, Landau shared a moment from the wrap party that marked the occasion. And from the sound of his Instagram post, it might even be the end of live-action photography in general.
In a previous update back in September, James Cameron had stated that Avatar 2 was “100% complete” when it came to live-action photography, with Avatar 3 then sitting at 95%. Now, it looks like the core trilogy of Avatar films has now wrapped that same phase of production as well. At this point, the next step would be the long haul effects work for Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, as the world of Pandora needs to be crafted around the filming James Cameron and Jon Landau oversaw the production of in New Zealand this very year.
Meanwhile, the movies known to the world as Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 still feel quite nebulous at this point. While there’s been strenuous filming with underwater tanks that push actors like Sigourney Weaver and Kate Winslet to their physical limits, that hard work will need to be accepted by the public to make sure those last two sequels can exist. As Disney has not given a greenlight for Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 just yet, the release of James Cameron’s first sequel to his record setting franchise is going to be crucial to any sort of word on the long game.
The original Avatar is currently streaming on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
It’s still a time for Avatar fans to celebrate, as after over a decade of waiting, Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 are more real than they’ve ever been. In fact, if one really wanted to, they could theoretically watch those two movies right now. That is, if they happen to be a part of James Cameron’s inner circle, and don’t mind a very incomplete version of the effects driven spectacle that these films are going to aim for.
Buckle up, folks; as Avatar 2 won’t be in theaters until December 16th, 2022, with Avatar 3 on deck for a December 20, 2024 release. And should fate pan out as the franchise stewards have planned, Avatar 4 will drop on December 26, 2026, with the grand finale in Avatar 5 arriving on December 22, 2028 – almost two decades after Avatar started the journey. If you want to get a more grounded box office picture, head to the 2021 release schedule, as you dream of Pandora’s distant promise.