‘Avatar’ 2 not out till 2020, three more sequels scheduled for 2021, 2024, 2025

We finally have a date for the release of ‘Avatar 2: December 18, 2020. That is 11 years to the day that “Avatar” was released. We already knew from writer/director James Cameron that while pre-production was in full swing on “Avatar 2” it wasn’t going to be ready in time for its original release date of December 21, 2018. This multi-hyphenate is making four films in the franchise back-to-back with the three follow-ups now due out in 2021, 2024 and 2025.

Cameron, who won Oscars for directing, producing and editing the blockbuster “Titanic” two decades ago,  has likened the scale of this production to “building the Three Gorges dam.” He compared the making of the first movie to these four. “I know where I’m going to be for the next eight years of my life. It’s not an unreasonable time frame if you think about it. It took us four-and-a-half years to make one movie.”

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While Cameron won’t say anything about the plot of “Avatar 2,” leading man Sam Worthington is returning to the role of astronaut Jake Sully, who at the end of the first film joined the Na’vi tribe on Pandora to be with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). The Aussie actor has revealed: “This is going to be Jake eight years later, and he’s got a family now.” As he explained, “Jake will still have that essence of a kid seeing the world for the first time, but he’s been living in the world for a while now, so what’s this world he’s seeing now for the first time?”

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And all of you Sigourney Weaver fans, don’t despair by Worthington’s description of “Avatar 2.” She will be back as Sully’s one-time boss, Dr. Grace Augustine in all four of the follow-up films. She and Cameron first worked together on “Aliens” (1986) which netted her a Best Actress Oscar nomination; she lost to Marlee Matlin (“Children of a Lesser God”).

The original “Avatar” pitted Cameron against his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow at the 2009 Oscars. She prevailed as her war drama “The Hurt Locker” was named Best Picture and she became the first woman to win Best Director. While “Avatar” took home only three Oscars (art direction, cinematography, visual effects), Cameron had the last laugh as his film shattered box office records taking in a staggering $2 billion worldwide.

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