It looks like James Cameron might be going ahead with his Avatar sequel much sooner than we had anticipated.

The first film took him 3 years to make. Well, if 20th Century Fox's newest production schedule is being read correctly then fans can expect to see Cameron's majestical blue world back in theaters in January of 2011.

The production report reads as follows:

January 28 -- Avatar: Na'vi - World Infinity -- Director James Cameron

Cameron was recently asked about this during a press junket for Avatar in Japan.

"Well, you know there is still 40 minutes of unused 3D footage that Avatar lovers, or I should say, the world, would give their eye-teeth to see," he offered. "I actually have the sequel ready to go. I started writing it the day I saw the first 3D images. I knew that no matter what Avatar would have an audience and I wanted to reward them before they even saw the first film."

One reporter mentioned how Cameron is apparently stewing over the fact that Avatar had to leave U.S. screens early to make way for other 3D films. Apparently, he feels this compromised the box office grosses. This might have something to do with getting Avatar: Na'vi - World Infinity out sooner rather than later.

"Yeah... obviously if the 'tar (Cameron's pet name for the film) was the only game in town, the grosses might've been well over $800 billion domestically. Once I realized what was going on I vowed that this wouldn't happen again. This made me really work extra hard at locking down the sequel. As an American I live in a capitalist society. Sure, Pandora is a beautiful planet but if you're not paying the bills those green plants dry up pretty quick, right? You can't knock me for protecting my brand. It's just good business."

Once the director left the press junket, Cameron's own press people were quick to point out that the director never committed to Fox's production announcement. However, when pressed they did acknowledge that he was shooting some footage with certain cast members from the original film (they wouldn't say who), and that the title of the sequel is going to be Avatar: Na'vi - World Infinity.

Evan Jacobs at Movieweb
Evan Jacobs