The first of three planned Avatar sequels has been pushed back to late 2017, according to director James Cameron.
The film was most recently expected to open in 2016, according to the Hollywood Reporter, but Cameron says that date was somewhat ambitious, as writing all the follow-up films at once has been “very involved.”
“We’re writing three simultaneously, and we’ve done that so that everything tracks throughout the three films,” said Cameron in New Zealand, where he was promoting the country’s film industry. “We’re not just going to do one and then make up another one and another one after that.”
Avatar became the highest-grossing movie of all time after it was released in 2009 with a box-office take of $2.8 billion. It was filmed in New Zealand, where Cameron also hopes to shoot the sequels.
“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 said.