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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.