It’s been a long time coming, but the sequels to ‘Avatar’ will officially begin production on September 25, producer Jon Landau has confirmed (via Deadline).
The start date looks to be a step in the right direction for director James Cameron and his Lightstorm Entertainment, the company that will oversee the four new movies, after years of postponements for the project.
Release dates for ‘Avatars’ 2, 3, 4 and 5′ emerged in April this year, with ‘Avatar 2’ set to hit screens on December 18, 2020.
The first sequel was originally set to begin in December 2014, but has been moved back ever since, with Cameron confirming in May that the movie wold not arrive in 2018 as planned, but in 2020.
Filming in New Zealand, original stars Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang are all back on board, with ‘Game of Thrones’ star Oona Chaplin now also confirmed for the cast.
She will play the role of Varang, ‘a strong and vibrant central character who spans the entire saga of the sequels’.
Behind the script are Cameron himself, with Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (from the new ‘Planet of the Apes’ series), Josh Friedman, who penned ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’, and Shane Salerno, writer of movies like ‘Armageddon’ and ‘Alien Vs. Predator’.
After ‘Avatar 2’, the third instalment will arrive on December 17, 2021, the fourth on December 20, 2024, then the fifth and final movie on December 19, 2025.
Much of the delay appears to have been down to a combination of perfecting the scripts and story arc, and having the right special effects in place.
Last year, Cameron said that he was pushing for ‘glasses-free’ 3D for all the sequels.