Disney just released a massive restructuring of their release calendar, which is to be expected considering virtually every production in Hollywood is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. In doing so, the studio revealed that James Cameron’s long-awaited Avatar sequels are among the films that are getting pushed back, which historically is another piece of news we should’ve been expecting.
Avatar 2, which had resumed production in New Zealand earlier this summer after a two-month shutdown, was originally scheduled to be released December of 2021. The movie has now been bumped to December 16, 2022. Meanwhile, Avatar 3 got shuffled from December 2023 to December 20, 2024; Avatar 4 was moved from December 2025 to December 18, 2026; and Avatar 5 was pushed from December 2027 to December 22, 2028. Notably, Disney is still sticking with the holiday release strategy, which proved to be enormously successful for the 2009 original. Yes, you read that correctly – we’re currently on track to see Avatar 2 a scant 13 years after the debut of the first film.
The Avatar sequels were initially announced back in 2010, with Avatar 2 scheduled for release in 2014. Since then, the franchise has been beset with a near-comedic level of delays, partially due to the ambitious increase from two planned sequels to four. The production also insisted on developing brand-new technology to film extensive underwater motion capture sequences, which added considerable time to the delays. At this point, Cameron could appear on TV dressed as a Batman villain and reveal that the Avatar sequels were nothing but an elaborate practical joke and I would not be surprised.