Will we ever really get to see an Avatar sequel in our lifetime? That notion gets further and further away every time James Cameron publicly talks about the proposition of farthing this franchise. The acclaimed director is currently giving a presentation at CinameCon in Las Vegas as part of the 20th Century Fox panel. And it was here that he officially confirmed Avatar 2 is being delayed from its originally intended December 2017 release date to December 2018. Though there was no mention on whether or not the movie is still set to start shooting this spring. But it's not all bad news. There will be even more Avatar movies in the future.

Yes, as was discussed by James Cameron in a previous interview, the possibility of Avatar expanding to four sequels from the previously announced three is becoming a reality. At CinemaCon, the filmmaker officially announced Avatar 5. This news comes along with new release dates for all four movies. These will be Christmas releases, with the aforementioned Avatar 2 coming in 2018, Avatar 3 coming two years later in 2020, and then Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 arriving back-to-back in 2022 and 2023. The director stated the following, according to Deadline, who were on the scene.

"We're making four epic films that stand alone but together to form a saga. These movies were designed to be seen in theaters first. I've been working with the top four screenwriters and designers in the world to design the world of Avatar going forward. The environments, new cultures, whatever it takes to bring this to life. From what I'm seeing, the art on the world...in pure imagination beyond the first film...I'm speechless."

At this time, no story details have been revealed. Though it is known these sequels will introduce new characters, ideas and environments for audiences to explore. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver will be back to headline the first sequel, with a great deal of the movie said to take place underwater.

James Cameron mentions the fact that the sequels are meant to be seen in the theater. He further addresses the threat that fewer and fewer people will be heading to theaters in the upcoming decade. He had this to say about ensuring that his movies entice people to leave their homes and pay the big ticket price to see these sequels on the big screen.

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"There's an important point that needs to be made. There's always a threat with moviegoing. We answer it by being great and with showmanship. We create things to be great in a movie theater. I want to give exhibition a shout out for keeping the experience sacred. Making the sound better, the chairs comfortable, whatever it takes to get people to get in their cars to go across town. Our jobs as filmmakers to keep making films on screen. we'll continue to make this industry the greatest show on earth. My producer Jon Landau and are committed to the theater experience. Despite what the folks at the Screening Room say, I think movies need to be offered in the theater on opening day. So boom."

With Avatar 5 not scheduled to hit theaters until 2023, we'll certainly see some big changes in the way people view movies over the course of the next 7 years. This is a pretty ambitious slate for James Cameron. Are you excited that we'll be getting four sequels instead of just three? Or do you just want to see at least one of these movies get made before the end of this decade? Sound off in the comments below.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange