'Avatar' sequels, 'Star Wars' movies delayed due to the pandemic
Even a decade after the release of James Cameron's path-breaking science-fiction epic Avatar, fans around the world are still waiting for a sequel. And as it appears, there won't be another Avatar movie until at least December of 2022. Yes, all the four planned sequels have been delayed once again, this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's more on this.
Touted as one of the most groundbreaking science-fiction movies ever, Avatar is based in the fictional universe of Pandora, which humans are trying to colonize in the mid-22nd century. Upon its release in 2009, the movie collected a whopping $2.79 billion worldwide. It held the record of the highest-grossing film ever until Marvel's superhero movie Avengers: Endgame overtook that position last year.
Explaining the yet another delay, writer/director Cameron issued a statement, saying that even as they have resumed filming in New Zealand, the pandemic has largely affected the virtual production work in Los Angeles. Hence, the original December 2021 release date would not be possible now. Cameron thanked Disney Studios and fans for their support over the years, promising that the sequels "will deliver."
"There is no one more disappointed about this delay than me. But I am buoyed by the incredible performances of our cast and the extraordinary work that Weta Digital is doing bringing the world of Pandora and the characters of film to life," he added.
In Avatar 2, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, and Zoe Saldana will reprise their roles. Others who have joined the cast include Kate Winslet, Michelle Yeoh, and Cliff Curtis. The sequel will reportedly take place years after the first movie. "The world is bigger than the first one, but essentially, it's a movie about family," Worthington said.
All the four planned Avatar sequels have been delayed by a year. This implies that Avatar 2, earlier planned to be released on December 17, 2021, will now be out on December 16, 2022. Furthermore, Avatar 3 will be released on December 20, 2024, Avatar 4 on December 18, 2026, while Avatar 5 will now hit theaters on December 22, 2028.
Separately, Disney also pushed the release dates for the new Star Wars trilogy. The three movies will now be released on December 22, 2023, December 19, 2025, and December 17, 2027. Meanwhile, the studio's live-action re-imagining of Mulan (earlier planned to release on August 12) as well as Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch (previously set to release on October 16) have been delayed indefinitely.