Holiday season? Nah. For four of the next nine Decembers, it’s Avatar season.
Well, folks, we’ve finally got confirmed release dates on the four, count ’em, four upcoming Avatar sequels, all of which are shooting concurrently. There will have been more than ten years between 2009’s Avatar and its upcoming first sequel (December 18, 2020), but they’re not making the same mistake this time. Three more Avatar films will follow on December 17, 2021, December 20, 2024, and December 19, 2025. Jesus.
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Avatar, more a semi-successful experiment in big-budget filmmaking than any kind of cinematic masterpiece, made bank at the box office, and these sequels have been in the pipeline for a while now. (Director James Cameron, who weirdly came out against certain sci-fi franchises recently, first announced in 2010 a sequel would be released in 2014.) So it’s no surprise there are a buttload more on their way. Word has it both Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang are also returning, despite their characters dying in the first movie.
The Christmas releases, too, raise an important question: Does Cameron and/or Fox think these are going to be awards contenders? The original Avatar had some big wins during the 2010 awards season, with a Golden Globe for best Picture and Best Director. It lost both those categories at the Oscars to The Hurt Locker and Cameron’s ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, but did bizarrely pick up the gold for Best Cinematography. Still, it’s hard to envision lightning striking twice. Avatar did well with awards voters because it was a new, nice-looking showcase for groundbreaking movie-making techniques, like Gravity. It’s hard to think the sequels will catch many by surprise.
Anyway, savor these next few years. There are still three blissful holiday seasons to enjoy before James Cameron starts invading them for the foreseeable future.