James Cameron's long-gestating Avatar 2 was just delayed again

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Jan 24, 2016, 6:52 PM EST (Updated)

Hey, remember Avatar, that massively successful movie that had rabid fans, set box-office records and nearly won an Oscar for Best Picture? Remember how all the way back in 2009 that movie's creator, James Cameron, was already promising us sequels that would return to the vibrant digital world of Pandora? Remember how the first of those sequels was originally going to come out last month? 

If you do remember all of that, it's because Avatar's basically become more famous for its continuously delayed sequels than its initial success. At this point in his career, no one expects Cameron -- a filmmaker driven as much by technological advancements in filmmaking as by storytelling -- to work fast (when Avatar came out he hadn't directed a feature in 12 years), but even when taking his perfectionism into consideration, Avatar 2 is starting to feel like a fabled film we'll never see.

The Wrap reports that Fox has now moved the first Avatar sequel, which will supposedly begin a trilogy, off its release schedule. Cameron had once discussed starting shooting early this year for a Christmas 2017 release date, but now that's not happening. According to the report, preproduction work is in the "early stages," but there is no start date for shooting. 

The news comes just days after Disney announced it was shifting Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII from May to December of 2017, which would've put it in key blockbuster competition against Avatar 2 had the latter film actually been released then. This is telling, because there's no way Disney was about to fight for screens with the sequel to the all-time box-office champion, which means it's been clear for a while that Cameron wasn't going to make this release.

So, what does this mean for the Avatar sequels? Are their story problems? Is Cameron still pushing the tech envelope? Is this just Cameron  being Cameron? It honestly could be all of the above, so we'll just have to wait and see when the next Avatar update comes along from the man himself.

(Via The Wrap)

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