This year kicked off with the disappointing news that James Cameron had delayed Avatar 2. It was supposed to come out November 2016, but instead was given a new Christmas 2017 release date. 20th Century Fox chairman-CEO Jim Gianopulos promises this won't happen again, and that we will for sure get to see the follow-up to 2009's Avatar in a little over two years.

The Fox CEO doesn't seem to have a problem with James Cameron's delay. The director is notorious for stalling projects to get them just right, with both Titanic and the original Avatar arriving much later than expected. But it has paid off, as both of his previous films have gone on to become some of the biggest box office blockbuster hits of all time. The original plan was to shoot Avatar 2 in late 2013 for a 2015 release date. That kept getting pushed back, as the films expended into Avatar 3 and Avatar 4. It was said that all three movies would shoot back-to-back starting in 2014 for a 2016 release date, but that also never happen. At this time, the screenplays are still being finalized.

Speaking from the Gabelli & Company's Movie & Entertainment Conference in New York City, Jim Gianopulos remained hopeful that with Avatar 2 set for a Christmas 2017 release date, Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 will debut in 2018 and 2019 as planned. He then went onto describe his trip to James Cameron's offices in New Zealand two months ago, stating:

"It's a room...which is covered floor to ceiling with images, characters, worlds, settings. It's the most amazing, breathtaking thing you've ever seen. His challenge is to put all of that in a movie. In the first movie he created technology that was so far ahead of its time. Of course now he's gone past that...all the pieces are in place. The story is being finalized."

Do you believe Jim Gianopulos? Or does three back-to-back sequels seem too ambitious? Shooting will need to begin later this year or very early 2016 to have the movie in theaters by 2017. With James Cameron's track record, do you think it will really happen?

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange