The AP has interviewed James Cameron in New Zealand, and he informs that his plan to shoot three sequels to his all-time top grossing Avatar proved so ambitious that he has been forced to move the whole release schedule forward one year. So, instead of the first sequel appearing Christmas 2016, it will wait until the following year, with each subsequent film coming a year after, bringing an Avatar sequel from 2017-2019.
Cameron said the initial target date was perhaps too ambitious, with the writing of the scripts, and the simultaneous creation of the creatures, 3D and everything else. Cameron delayed Titanic, the first Avatar and, as I recall, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Rumors of problems abounded, and it was just Cameron being a perfectionist and making sure he got it right. I’m persuaded this is exactly the same thing.
This leaves a big hole in the Christmas 2016 release schedule; watch as rival distributors seize the moment and move films into that slot.
“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,” Cameron told AP from New Zealand, where Peter Jackson and others are promoting the local movie business. He shot Avatar there and will do the sequels there as well.
Considering the time that Cameron is putting in, and the record investment that Fox will make, it is certainly better to take his time and do it right, as the hope is that Avatar will have the same kind of game-changing impact that Jackson made with his consecutively shot trilogies The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, the last installment of which is about to pass the $800 million global gross mark …
TriStar’s Tom Rothman has landed yet another high-profile project in Baby Driver, an Edgar Wright concoction that has Fault In Our Stars‘ Ansel Elgort in line to play a getaway driver who is also a DJ and depends on his personal soundtrack to guide his driving maneuvers.
My pal at Variety, Justin Kroll, was first with this, as he was citing that Brad Pitt, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling are circling The Big Short, an adaptation of the Michael Lewis bestseller. Pitt starred in Moneyball, also based on a Lewis book.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.