Filmmaker James Cameron has said that no one is more disappointed than him about the delay in the upcoming Avatar sequels. Disney on Thursday announced that all four films, currently in various stages of production, will be pushed by one year each. The first, Avatar 2, which is currently filming in New Zealand, will debut in December 2022.
He wrote that while work is underway in New Zealand, the coronavirus pandemic has halted equally important production in Los Angeles. "There is no one more disappointed about this delay than me. But I am buoyed by the incredible performances of our cast and the extraordinary work that Weta Digital is doing bringing the world of Pandora and the characters of the film to life," he wrote.
Thanking Disney for backing the film in these tough times, he added, "Most of all, I am grateful to you, our fans, for your support over the years and I promise that what we bring to cinemas will deliver."
Disney has also removed the live-action remake of Mulan from its release schedule. "Over the last few months, it's become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during this global health crisis, and today that means pausing our release plans for Mulan as we assess how we can most effectively bring this film to audiences around the world," a Walt Disney Studios spokesperson said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly.
The date changes for the sequels are as follows: Avatar 3 (previously December 22, 2023 is now December 20, 2024), Avatar 4 (formerly December 19, 2025 goes to December 18, 2026), Avatar 5 (previously December 27, 2027 goes to December 22, 2028).