Fans of James Cameron’s Avatar will have to wait a little longer for the sequel to the biggest blockbuster of all time. The Toronto Star is reporting plans for the 2018 release are no longer feasible. Speaking to Cameron about the future of the franchise in the run-up to the opening of Disney World’s “Pandora” inside Animal Kingdom on May 27, 2017, the subject of the source material came up. The director chalked up the delay to the way the production schedule is set up:
“Well, 2018 is not happening. We haven’t announced a firm release date. 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.”
You can almost hear Mickey Mouse off in the distance, baseball bat smacking menacingly into one white-gloved paw as he gives off his trademark laugh with a gleam of evil in his eye, “We gave you a theme park, James. Ha-HA! Where’s our franchise?”
After all, if you live on planet Earth, you know what Avatar is. If you’re a cool person, you have to quantify it as James Cameron’s Avatar, so people don’t confuse it with the amazing Nickelodeon show (and the subsequent train wreck of an M. Night Shyamalan movie). That’s why Disney was willing to hundred of millions of dollars into breathing life into a tourist attraction version of Pandora. Cameron’s film topped the zeitgeist of 3D movies, a promise of how the technology would change entertainment forever. When Avatar was released, it became the highest-grossing film of all time (not adjusting for inflation). Some fans were literally suicidal because the alien world of Pandora isn’t real. It seemed inevitable that pop culture would be awash in sequels and Avatar references for decades.