According to actress Sigourney Weaver, production on the long-planned Avatar sequels will finally begin before the end of the year. Following the completion of the scripts for the four sequels, the goal will be to complete the massive four-movie shoot as quickly as possible so that the lengthy post-production process can begin in earnest.
Briefly interviewed before a screening of her new movie The Assignment, Weaver told The Hollywood Reporter that filming for Avatar 2 and the other sequels are going to start before the end of the year:
“We’re starting! …I probably can’t say anything. We will be actually shooting it by the fall.”
This is consistent with director James Cameron’s assertion earlier this year that the movies will start filming in August. Since the biggest creative roadblock that Cameron’s faced with the Avatar sequels has been actually writing them, it doesn’t seem incredibly likely that it will take them much longer to actually begin production.
“I’m telling you, these scripts are so amazing, I’m not worried about [disappointing fans] at all. Am I worried about how we’re going to bring them to life? Yes, because they’re so ambitious. They’re so worth it. They’re well worth waiting for. I’m not worried about that at all.”
Avatar is an interesting franchise in the sense that everyone saw the first one, yet there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of interest in a continuation of the narrative, making such a huge, four-movie production seem like a potentially big risk. That being said, betting against James Cameron is unwise – in his history as a director, he’s only had one flop (The Abyss) – which admittedly wasn’t a huge loss for the studio – and two movies that could have put Twentieth Century Fox in serious financial trouble (Titanic and Avatar), but both ended up being the company’s most successful movies by a long shot. Perhaps Cameron will be able to take the world by storm by taking the original’s visual effects and using the improvements in technology to make for even more stunning sequels.
Avatar 2 was intended to be released around Christmas 2018, but it has since been delayed to an unspecified time. However, Avatar 3, Avatar 4, and Avatar 5 are still scheduled for Christmases of 2020, 2022, and 2023, suggesting that Avatar 2 will aim for a Christmas 2019 window instead. Joining Weaver will be Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldana, and Stephen Lang, all of whom will reprise their roles from the original movie.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter