Delayed Gratification: No Avatar For Christmas 2017

Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

We learned that we won’t be visiting a galaxy far, far away as soon as we hoped.

Now we have confirmation that we will have an even longer wait to return to Pandora, the exotic world of the Na’vi.

The first of James Cameron’s three planned sequels to his 2009 blockbuster Avatar will not be hitting cinemas next year.

The Wrap exclusively broke the news that a prospective Christmas 2017 release for Avatar 2 is no more. 20th Century Fox has not set a new date.

Stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana are signed up for the new trilogy, which Cameron intends to shoot simultaneously. There is no word on when filming is expected to start.

When Fox first announced three sequels, Avatar 2 was scheduled for December 2016. Fox planned to release Avatar 3 in December 2017 followed by Avatar 4 one year later.

Then, citing a very complicated writing process, Cameron declared that late 2017 was the target for the first new movie.

Avatar remains the highest grossing film worldwide. People are understandably eager to see if the follow-up can recreate the magic.

“Obviously, expectations are going to be very high on these films, especially on Avatar 2, to make sure it wasn’t just some big fluke the first time. So we’ve got to deliver,” Cameron said to Entertainment Weekly in December 2015.

Meanwhile, The Force Awakens has snatched the crown for biggest domestic grosser.

Disney recently announced plans to push Star Wars: Episode VIII back from May 2017 to December 2017.

Episode VIII will undoubtedly be a box office force to be reckoned with. So did Avatar 2 tuck its tail between its legs and run?

Apparently not. Some immediately predicted that Cameron simply wouldn’t be ready.

The director is notorious for his perfectionism. Given the technological demands and ambitious scale of the project, this latest push back should come as little surprise.

Disney is also collaborating with Cameron on an Avatar-themed attraction at its Animal Kingdom Theme Park.  It is due to open in 2017.

Given Cameron’s track record, anyone dying to get back to Pandora may want to get tickets to Orlando!