Following the indefinite delay of Mulan, Disney has pushed back the release date of the four Avatar sequels by a year each.
Avatar 2 was originally slated for release at Christmas 2021, but James Cameron’s long-awaited sequel will now land in cinemas on 16 December, 2022 instead.
Although the film is currently in production in New Zealand, undertaking live action shooting, the filmmaker says the recent surge of coronavirus cases in the US is preventing the production from resuming its “virtual production work on stages in Los Angeles”.
“There is no-one more disappointed about this delay than me,” Cameron said in a statement on Twitter.
A message from James Cameron.
Irayo, Na'vi Nation. Stay safe. 💙 pic.twitter.com/Uwi2J6xF4k
— Avatar (@officialavatar) July 23, 2020
“But I am buoyed by the incredible performances of our cast and the extraordinary work that Weta Digital is doing bringing the world of Pandora and the characters of the film to life,” he adds.
The delay of the first Avatar sequel, the follow up to 2009’s sci-fi blockbuster, pushes back the subsequent sequels by a year too. Avatar 3 will arrive 20 December, 2024, Avatar 4 on 18 December, 2026, and Avatar 5 on 22 December, 2028.
Read more: Avatar 2 will examine Quaritch ‘in detail’
Other than a return to the planet and people of Pandora, little is known about where the movie will be heading, not to mention the multiple planned sequels to follow (four more movies in all).
Speaking to the New Zealand news site RNZ, Landau explained: “This is the story of the Sully family and what one does to keep their family together.
“Jake and Neytiri have a family in this movie, they are forced to leave their home, they go out and explore the different regions of Pandora, including spending quite a bit of time on the water, around the water, in the water.
“I think, why do people turn to entertainment today, more so than ever? I think it's to escape, to escape the world we're in, to escape the other pressures they have in their lives.”