Credit: WETA

Avatar quickly became the highest-grossing movie of all time, and to prove that wasn’t just a fluke, James Cameron is ready to throw everything he’s got at the sequels. Confirming the Christmas 2017 release date for Avatar 2 in a recent interview, the director described how each of these films stand on their own and yet work together to tell a larger story.

“Christmas of ’17 is the target,” Cameron told the Montreal Gazette ahead of the release of Cirque Du Soleil’s Toruk: The First Flight. “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.”

Cameron reiterated what he told EW earlier this month in that design work is nearly complete. “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.”

The plan is to shoot the sequels back to back, and Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang are returning to the fold. The first film marked a new age of 3-D blockbusters, and producer Jon Landau teased underwater performance-capture to up the ante.

“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,” he previously told EW. “So we’ve got to deliver. I’ve created a nice rod for my own back, so they say.”

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 162 minutes
  • James Cameron