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James Cameron: Return to Pandora on Hold; Avatar Sequel Delayed… Again

James Cameron: Return to Pandora on Hold; Avatar Sequel Delayed... Again 1

Sam Worthington played Jake Sully and Zoe Saldana play Na’vi Neytiri in the 2009 movie Avatar. A sequel has been pushed back for at least another year. (Photo: Studio)

James Cameron says the fantasy world of the N’avi on the mythical planet of Pandora will remain a fantasy for at least another year. The sequel to the movie “Avatar” won’t hit theaters in 2018 as planned.

Cameron revealed the delay in a new interview, but said work on all four planned sequels is proceeding, even if “Avatar 2” has no firm release date.

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“Well 2018 is not happening. We haven’t announced a firm release date,” the Oscar-winning director told the Toronto Star newspaper.

“What people have to understand is that this is a cadence of releases. So we’re not making ‘Avatar 2.’ We’re making ‘Avatar 2,’ 3, 4 and 5. It’s an epic undertaking,” he added.

Filming multiple sequels at the same time helps save money on production costs.

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The first film cost a whopping “$237 million to produce, according to studio estimates with another $150 million spent on promotion. But the payoff was huge. The film grossed $2.8 billion worldwide, putting deep into sequel territory.

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Cameron suggested that delays were to be expected. “It took us four-and-a-half years to make one movie and now we’re making four. We’re full tilt boogie right now,” he said.

This is my day job and pretty soon we’ll be 24-7. We’re pretty well designed on all our creatures and sets. It’s pretty exciting stuff. I wish I could share with the world. But we have to preserve a certain amount of showmanship and we’re going to draw that curtain when the time is right,” he added.

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The delays have now stretched into four years. The first sequel was initially scheduled for release in 2014.

Meanwhile, the world of Pandora lives on as a theme attraction at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

The attraction, billed as a Na’vi River Journey, will include floating mountains, luminescent plants, and an Avatar Flight of Passage ride. It opens in May.

Check out a trailer below from the 2009 movie.

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