‘Star Wars VIII’ Won’t Face ‘Avatar 2’ at the Box Office

James Cameron

In a move that should surprise no one, the sequel to the 2009 mega-blockbuster won’t be ready by Christmas 2017.

According to The Wrap, the release date of James Cameron’s Avatar 2 is being pushed back to an unknown date as a result of Star Wars: Episode VIII’s move to December 15, 2017. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that Episode VIII only moved to Christmas because Disney already knew Avatar 2 was getting delayed.

20th Century Fox on Thursday declined comment on the delay, but there has been some speculation that the studio will take Avatar 2 to the summer of 2018 with the third and fourth movies following in 2019 and 2020. Avatar 2 was originally supposed to open last Christmas.

Now all we know is that Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana are reprising their lead roles, while Sigourney Weaver is also said to be back even though her character died in the previous movie.

Otherwise, Weta Digital is working out groundbreaking motion capture tech which will be used for underwater scenes. It’s likely Cameron has been developing envelope-pushing camera equipment for the films as well. He aims to shoot all three films in the trilogy at the same time in New Zealand. The filmmaker is known for being a perfectionist — the original film took five years to make it to the screen and spent more than two years in post-production. Details of the film’s story have been kept under very tight wraps and a start date for filming has not been set.

Avatar (2009) – A hybrid human-alien called an Avatar is created to facilitate communication with the indigenous Na’vis from the planet Pandora and pave the way for large-scale mining of the planet; after falling for a Na’vi woman, an avatar helps the locals roust the would-be exploiters when he realizes that mining will destroy their edenic planet.