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Published On: Tue, Jan 26th, 2016

‘Avatar’ sequel delayed after ‘Star Wars 8’ moved to Christmas 2017

Fox has not set a new date for the sequel or the two other planned followups to Avatar, the 2009 sci-fi blockbuster by James Cameron. The delay is certain and comes just after news that Star Wars Episode VIII has taken the 2017 Christmas slot.

zoe_saldana Avatar photoThe studio on Thursday declined comment on the delay, which individuals with knowledge of the situation confirmed. There is no new release date set for the movie, or word on the two other sequels, which Fox had planned to release in the same holiday corridor in 2018 and 2019.

It’s the second delay for Avatar 2, which Fox had originally planned to release by Christmas of this year. Cameron intends to shoot all three films in the trilogy at the same time in New Zealand, with Cameron and Jon Landau producing through Lightstorm Entertainment.

Soundstage construction and some computer animation work is in the early stages, but a start date for filming has not been set. Stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana in 2014 signed on for the trilogy, which is expected to pick up where the original left off, though Cameron has indicated much of it may be set on a moon of the planet Pandora and underwater.

As recently as last month, Cameron said a 2017 release was on track, and Fox chairman-CEO Jim Gianopulos said the same last summer after visiting the director in his offices in New Zealand. The Fox chief executive qualified his statement at the time, saying, “James Cameron has his own pace.”

The delay could be caused by the underwater element, which is notoriously tricky and often expensive. It’s likely Cameron has been developing envelope-pushing camera equipment for the films as well. The original film took five years to make it to the screen and spent more than two years in post-production.

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About the Author

- Sierra is a copy writer for The Dispatch, focusing primarily on pop culture and stories linked to the latest Christian headlines, both in the U.S. and overseas.

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