Avatar is a tough film to talk about, if only for its generally divisive nature. It’s one of the most highest grossing films of all time and remains, strictly in terms of visuals, a sight to behold. And yet, its politics are so simple and uncomplicated, its morals so egregiously black-and-white, that it becomes hard to celebrate the film for the things James Cameron did right, which are not to be arrogantly sniffed at because of a script that lacked for insight and patient thought.
If nothing else, the Avatar sequels present a chance for Cameron to recalibrate and rethink what he did correctly and incorrectly in the initial film, and he recently gave yet another update of where Avatar 2 is in terms of pre-production. It was at the premiere of Cirque Du Soleil’s stage production of Pandora, entitled Toruk: The First Flight, that the director gave the Montreal Gazette a firmer sense of when we might finally see Avatar 2; here’s what he had to say recently about the film. Here’s what he had to say now:
“Christmas of ’17 is the target…At least, that’s what we’ve announced. But I don’t consider that to be as important as the fact that when we get all three films done, we drop them a year apart. I call it a meta-narrative that runs across the three movies. Each film stands alone, but it also tells one much larger story.”
So, Christmas 2017 is now when they’re aiming to have Avatar 2 in theaters, and Cameron went on to discuss where all the other stages of production are at, all of which sound to be pretty positive from the sounds of it. Here’s what he had to say about the other areas of production:
“We have design more or less finished, which is an enormous task. It’s been about a two-year task. [We’ve finished] all the creatures and the landscapes, and the new worlds within the world of Pandora that you see. The writing is ongoing, but almost finished. Technical development is done. Stages are done. Infrastructure. So we’re really poised to start after the first of the year,”
Hopefully, this is the last bit of news from Cameron about the film before production gets underway, or at least the next levels of getting this movie made are engaged. Focus may be on Marvel, Star Wars, and other ongoing franchises, but Avatar offers as many tiers of inventiveness in terms of design than any of those films. With a fuller embrace of the inherent complexity of his storytelling apparatus, Cameron could easily make his next film a real contender against such heavyweights.