Avatar fans who’ve been waiting since 2009 for a return to Pandora will have to hold their breath a little bit longer.
Speaking to reporters at an industry event in New Zealand, James Cameron said that the first Avatar sequel—of three proposed sequels—would be pushed back a year and arrive in theaters in 2017, according to the Associated Press.
“There’s a layer of complexity in getting the story to work as a saga across three films that you don’t get when you’re making a stand-alone film,” he said. “We’re writing three simultaneously. And we’ve done that so that everything tracks throughout the three films. We’re not just going to do one and then make up another one and another one after that.”
Cameron told reporters that the initial plan to have the first sequel in theaters in late 2016 was overly ambitious, but he expects to complete the three screenplays by the end of the month. (Back in April, he told Reddit that the scripts would be done within six weeks.) He still envisions releasing the three films in three consecutive years—presumably 2017, 2018, and 2019.
20th Century Fox, which will distribute the Avatar films, did not immediately comment on the matter.