– by Joseph Jammer Medina

These Avatar sequels have had a long road to production. Following the 2009 release of the highest grossing film of all time, director James Cameron set to teasing audiences about future adventures that awaited them. First it was assumed there would be two sequels to make up a trilogy (we even got 2014 and 2015 release dates for them), then it was revealed that there were three sequels planned (and we got 2016 to 2018 release dates for those), and finally, we learned that there were to be four sequels set to hit theaters (the first of which should have been coming out this December).

As you can likely tell from the complete absence of Avatar sequels as of this writing, this didn’t quite work out as planned. Cameron even stated that they were likely not going to make their December 2018 release date. So when in the hell are these movies coming out already? Thanks to a new post from the official Avatar Facebook page, we now have an answer.

According to the post, the films will be hitting theaters on December 18, 2020, December 17, 2021, December 20, 2024, and December 19, 2025. That’s right. We’ll be getting a strange set of release date over the course of five years.

This is definitely a bit on the weird side, for a couple reasons. First is that, on multiple occasions, James Cameron has stated that the actual release date of the first film doesn’t matter, so long as after that film hits, the next three hit in quick succession — so every year. However, with this current schedule, we have the first two films hit in two years, but then there’s a weird three-year gap between the second and third sequel.

Why is there such a big gap there? Perhaps James Cameron has big plans for that third film. Maybe it requires some technology that he doesn’t think we’re ready for just yet, and needs time to develop it. It definitely gets me curious for that third film. What could possibly be so difficult that we need three years in between, and what happened to the importance of quick succession?

Now, let’s get into some baseless speculation. My guess is that Cameron wanted to wait until 2022 before releasing the first Avatar sequel. However, given the amount of resources and money already spent on these films, you can imagine that 20th Century Fox is itching to get some return on investment at some point. This likely resulted in a compromise where they release the first two films earlier rather than later, with the studio hoping to recoup its cost, allowing Cameron to spend more time on that third film.

Of course, that’s all just speculation, but given the limited amount of information we’re working with, I’d say it’s not a bad one. Either way, it looks like we have another set of release dates on the books. We’ll see if these ones stick. 

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SOURCES: Avatar Movie (via Facebook)

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.