Do you remember the movie Avatar? The science fiction mega hit centered on the exotic alien world of Pandora? Staring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver? Yes, I do too. We all do. That’s because, to this day, it remains the highest grossing film of all time, earning $2,787,965,087. Months after the film was released, 20th Century Fox as well as director, writer, producer, and co-editior James Cameron announced two sequels were confirmed, with a fourth and fifth film coming later as well.
Avatar was released in 2009.
It is now 2018.
What is happening.
In nine years, have you read or heard anything regarding these sequels? There have been no trailers, no teasers, nothing. Nothing for nine years! Are they even filming? Was there a setback? Are they even still happening? Should I even care anymore? The most successful film of all time has essentially disappeared.
Nine years is a long time to care about something. In 2009, “Boom Boom Pow” by The Black Eyed Peas was #1 on Billboard’s Top 100, Cali Swag District had bestowed upon us the infamous Dougie with their hit single “Teach Me How To Dougie,” and Tiger Woods was a faithful husband… well, for most of 2009. My point is, The Black Eyed Peas, Cali Swag District, and Tiger Woods’ marital status are irrelevant now. Avatar, despite its mixed critical reviews, was a groundbreaking film, featuring never before seen motion capture technology and a shockingly elaborate and captivating world Cameron let us discover. Although people tarnished the films originality from a narrative perspective, labeling the story as Pocahontas 2.0, the film undeniably made a connection with its audience. So why has it been nine years?! Why are they allowing this franchise to become irrelevant? Why does this make me so angry?
I looked in to this to give the public what they deserve. Here is what I have learned is going on in Pandora as of 2018:
- Yes, the second and third films are still in production. They began filming in September 2017 and are scheduled to release in December 2020, and December 2021, respectively. That’s right, 11 YEARS in between the most successful movie ever made and its sequel. James Cameron is notoriously slow at developing projects (he first had the idea for Avatar in 1994), but considering he already made the first one, you’d think producing a second in 11 years is feasible.
- The fourth and fifth films are scheduled to begin filming as soon as the second and third are finished, and are set to release in 2024, and 2025, respectively. However, Cameron told Vanity Fair in a 2017 interview, “Let’s face it, if Avatar 2 and 3 don’t make enough money, there’s not going to be a 4 and 5.” So there’s that.
Alright, just so we’re all on the same page here: Avatar (2009), Avatar 2 (2020), Avatar 3 (2021), Avatar 4 (2024), and Avatar 5 (2025). One movie in 11 years and the next four in five years. Makes sense.
James Cameron is in fact, directing, producing, and writing all four sequels. The original cast is set to reprise their roles, however Sigourney Weaver will be playing a new character. New additions to the cast include Cliff Curtis and Kate Winslet, although which characters they will portray remains unknown.
Also, I’m oddly accepting of the fact that the humans named the precious mineral of Pandora unobtanium. At first, it sounded impressively unoriginal, but I then I decided to peruse the Periodic Table to see how many elements have stupid sounding names, and here are a just a few (of many) I found.
- Americium – Named after Amerigo Vespucci
- Livermorium – Named after some dude named Rob Livermore
- Californium – This element is just a shaka sign
- Berkelium – Somehow this isn’t weed
If these can exist, I have no qualms with an unobtainable mineral from a distant planet possessing the name unobtanium.
So, will we ever see what happened to Jake after he permanently transferred to his Na’vi avatar and left Earth behind? Will human beings ever return to Pandora? At this point, we may as well call the Avatar sequels unobtanium.