Avatar, the last James Cameron film to hit screens, opened nine and a half years ago. Since that time Cameron has been working on making four Avatar sequels. That’s right — four of ’em. Not a sequel or a trilogy but a five-parter if you count the original. Basically a theatrical miniseries.
It was announced today that the release date of the fourth and final Avatar sequel (aka Avatar 5) has been bumped from 12.19.25 to 12.17.27, which is (a) eight and a half years from now and (b) 19 years after the release of the original. Given that Cameron began work on Avatar in early ’06, there will actually be a time span of 21 years between the start of it all and Avatar 5.
Has anyone in the history of motion pictures ever invested this many years in the multi-part fulfillment of a single franchise?
New Avatar sequel dates, as dictated by Disney: Avatar 2 — previously slated to open on 12/18/20, now opening on 12.17.21 or eleven months after the swearing-in of President Pete Buttigieg. Avatar 2 — previously dated on 12.17.21, now bumped to 12.22.23, by which time Buttigieg’s re-election campaign will be in the final stages of preparation. Avatar 4 — previously dated on 12.20.24, now set to open on 12.19.25 or nearly a full year into Buttigieg’s second term. And then the debut of the grand finale, Avatar 5, on 12.17.27.
And speaking of long time spans, it was also announced today that Steven Spielberg‘s West Side Story will open on 12.18.20 — roughly 59 years after the Oscar-winning Robert Wise version opened on 10.18.61, and 63 years after the debut of the original Broadway stage version. Spielberg will begin filming sometime this summer. Rachel Zegler is playing Maria and Ansel Elgort is Tony.