Avatar is already more than seven years old, yes it has been that long since we not only had a properly engaging 3D film but it's also the last time the ultimate action filmmaker released something into cinemas.
Ever since then the Canadian director has been spending a lot of time talking about his sequels - they're going to be set underwater, they're going to be shot back to back, they're probably going to be about nature again but also have lots of explosions.
It's all getting a bit tiring, especially as the 61 year old shows no sign of getting anywhere near a studio. Now he says we're actually getting four more movies, with release dates planned for 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023. Yep, we're actually announcing release dates for space year 2023 now.
Cameron himself was at CinemaCon in Las Vegas to announce the news and he remains as excited as ever about the future of the franchise, with huge plans for a connected universe that will unfold as a massive cinematic masterpiece.
Via Slashfilm: "We’ve decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic process. We’ve begun to bump up against the limitation of our art form. There’s just too much story. I’ve been working with the top four screenwriters and designers in the world to design the world of Avatar going forward... The environments, new cultures — whatever it takes to bring it to life. From what I’m seeing of the art on the wall, in pure imagination is just beyond the first film. I’m speechless.”
Sure James... It's very easy to say these things, and they echo what he's been uttering for years at this stage, but we're rightly skeptical of a release date just over two years away and no sign of actual production starting. It just sounds like a project that is getting too big, and there's a real danger of the audience forgetting about the franchise long before it returns.
We'll have to wait and see.