Avatar 2 has been delayed by Disney yet again. James Cameron's long-awaited sequel, as well as the other planned installments in the franchise, have been pushed back by a full year. This comes as studios have been forced to shuffle release calendars, as movie theaters remain closed in the U.S. and productions are slowly trying to get back up and running following the shutdown.
Disney has now moved Avatar 2 from its previous date on December 17, 2021, to December 16, 2022. The news was confirmed via the official Avatar Twitter accounts. James Cameron shared a letter acknowledging the delay, while also explaining that it has to do with not being able to utilize their sound stages in Los Angeles. Here's what Cameron had to say about it.
"Avatar Fans, Oel ngati kameie. 'I see you.' I also hope that you are staying healthy and safe. As many of you are aware... we were forced into an unexpected lengthy delay in starting the live action filming we are currently doing in New Zealand. What most of you likely do not know is that the [situation] is still preventing us from being allowed to recommence most of our virtual production work on stages in Los Angeles. That work is just as critical to the films as the live action work... Everything was on track to bring you the first sequel in December of 2021. Unfortunately, due to the impact that the pandemic has had on our schedule it is no longer possible for us to make that date."
This now means it will be 13 years between when Avatar hit theaters in 2009 and when the Avatar sequel arrives. Additionally, Avatar 3 is moving from December 22, 2023, to December 20, 2024. Meanwhile, Avatar 4 will shift from December 19, 2025, to December 18, 2026, while Avatar 5 moves from December 17, 2027, to December 22, 2028. Speaking further, James Cameron expressed his disappointment over the delay.
"There is no one more disappointed about this delay than me. But I am buoyed by the incredible performances of our cast and the extraordinary work that Weta Digital is doing bringing the world of Pandora and the characters of the film to life. I am thankful for the support we continue to receive from Disney Studios and in particular from Alan Horn and Alan Bergman. The entire company is 110% behind not just the sequels, but also the rest of the franchise content we already have in the works. Most of all, I am grateful to you, our fans, for Your support over the years and I promise that what we bring to cinemas will deliver. As the Na'vi say, 'Irayo', thank you."
Avatar, up until last year, was the highest-grossing movie in history, taking in a whopping $2.74 billion. Avengers: Endgame managed to top it, but only by a little, relatively speaking. With the Disney/Fox merger going into effect last year, Avatar 2, and the other planned sequels, ended up in Disney's hands.
Plot details largely remain scarce, but Avatar 2 will see the return of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang. Disney also delayed Mulan, as well as several untitled Star Wars movies. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. You can check out the full message from the official Avatar Instagram.