In case you hadn’t noticed, James Cameron takes his sweet time putting a movie together. It wasn’t always like this, though, and after making his directorial debut on 1982’s Piranha II: The Spawning, the filmmaker would helm five more features over the next twelve years. However, since True Lies hit theaters in the summer of 1994, the last quarter of a century has only brought a further two additions to his filmography.
Admittedly, both Titanic and Avatar were pretty successful, with each becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time as they raked in a combined total of close to $5 billion at the box office, winning fourteen Academy Awards from 23 nominations in the process. Basically, any new James Cameron movie is a landmark cinematic event these days, and Avatar 2 promises to be no different.
The original’s reputation may have taken a somewhat unfair battering over the years, but the sequel will look to silence any doubters as the 66 year-old hopes to once again change the game, as well as take back the title that he claimed Avengers: Endgame only managed to steal from him due to a rounding error.
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Avatar 2 was originally announced to be arriving in December 2017, but has since been pushed back seven times. A lot of people are skeptical that it might not even be ready by its December 16th, 2022 release date, but Cameron has now confirmed that the first sequel has officially wrapped shooting.
“Well, COVID hit us like it hit everybody. We lost about four and a half months of production. As a result of that, we’ve rolled around one more full year for a release in December of 2022. That’s been announced already. Now that doesn’t mean I have an extra year to finish the film, because the day we deliver Avatar 2 we’ll just start working on finishing Avatar 3. So where we are right now, I’m down in New Zealand shooting. We’re shooting the remainder of the live action. We’ve got about ten percent left to go. We’re 100% complete on Avatar 2 and we’re sort of 95% complete on Avatar 3. So we’re very lucky in that we chose this as our production site years ago.”
Of course, an effects-driven blockbuster like Avatar 2 is going to require a lot of post-production work, but hopefully two years will provide more than enough time to put the finishing touches on Cameron’s first return to Pandora. The only question is whether or not it will be able to match or even exceed the success of the first installment.