James Cameron reveals planned release date for first Avatar sequel

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Dec 25, 2015, 6:52 PM EST (Updated)

We finally have some idea of when we are going to see the first of James Cameron's trilogy of Avatar sequels.

Avatar was released in 2009, and while it still stands as the all-time box-office champ (although that title faces a very real threat from Star Wars: The Force Awakens), it's curious how the movie has kind of dropped off the cultural map. Perhaps that could simply be due to the fact that Cameron has taken his time getting his proposed trilogy of sequels off the ground.

But now, just as those stories about whether Star Wars can topple Avatar for the box-office crown are sure to start bubbling up, Cameron gave the Montreal Gazette an idea of the timeline he's working on:

"Christmas of ’17 is the target. At least, that’s what we’ve announced. But I don’t consider that to be as important as the fact that when we get all three films done, we drop them a year apart. I call it a meta-narrative that runs across the three movies. Each film stands alone, but it also tells one much larger story."

We've heard that Cameron wanted to release a film a year, but now we have a tentative release date for the first movie and also the news that each film will tell a separate tale that feeds into the bigger overall story. Based on Cameron's next comment, it's possible that these stories will involve a whole lot of new Pandora inhabitants we have yet to meet:

"We have design more or less finished, which is an enormous task. It’s been about a two-year task. (We’ve finished) all the creatures and the landscapes, and the new worlds within the world of Pandora that you see. The writing is ongoing, but almost finished. Technical development is done. Stages are done. Infrastructure. So we’re really poised to start after the first of the year."

If Cameron is gearing up to start shooting in early 2016, we're sure to hear a lot more about these movies in the months ahead. And it certainly seems like he's mapping out a multi-film saga to compete with the Star Wars sagas and Marvel Cinematic Universes that dominate the landscape. Is your interest in the Avatar sequels high, low or moderate? What do you think of Cameron's seemingly ambitious plans for his franchise?

(via Birth.Movies.Death)