Good news for patient Avatar fans: The 2009 film’s first sequel will begin production this fall.
The movie’s star Sigourney Weaver made the announcement earlier this week, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “We’re starting! We’re starting training, and we’re starting—hmm, I probably can’t say anything. We will be actually shooting it by the fall.”
This is great news for audiences, as the highly anticipated film has experienced several delays in recent years. In 2014, it was reported director James Cameron was working on the scripts for the planned sequels. The first of three follow-ups was supposed to hit theaters in December 2016, with Avatar 3 and 4 dropping in 2017 and 2018, respectively. (Avatar 4 wasn’t announced until the spring of 2016). But now that we have a timeframe for Avatar 2's production, it shouldn't be much longer before we get a release date, right? Well, according to Cameron, it’s still unknown.
“Well, 2018 is not happening. We haven’t announced a firm release date. What people have to understand is that this is a cadence of releases. So we’re not making Avatar 2. We’re making Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5. It’s an epic undertaking,” Cameron told the Toronto Star last month. “It’s not unlike building the Three Gorges dam. (Laughs) So I know where I’m going to be for the next eight years of my life. It’s not an unreasonable time frame if you think about it. It took us four-and-a-half years to make one movie and now we’re making four.”
The original Avatar was both a commercial and critical success, grossing $2.7 billion at the global box office, as well as landing a number of Academy Award wins and nominations, including Best Cinematography, Best Director, and Best Picture. So it's clear the upcoming sequels have a lot to live up to. But Weaver insists she's not concerned about letting fans down.
“I’m telling you, these scripts are so amazing, I’m not worried about [disappointing fans] at all,” Weaver told THR. “Am I worried about how we’re going to bring them to life? Yes, because they’re so ambitious. They’re so worth it. They're well worth waiting for. I’m not worried about that at all. We’re trying to get it done as quickly as possible.”