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Forums - Movies Discussion - Why have the Avatar sequels taken so long to release?


What the heck has been taking so long?


It took 15 years for James Cameron - the visionary filmmaker behind The Terminator, Aliens and The Abyss - to transform his original pitch for Avatar into a feature film. It may have been worth the wait. The technologically innovative science-fiction thrill ride became the highest grossing film in history, jumpstarted a new wave of 3D blockbuster filmmaking, and raised the bar for motion-capture visual effects technology.

So you would think that, with all that money filling 20th Century Fox’s coffers, they would have moved as quickly as possible to get Avatar 2 into theaters. In fact, that was actually the plan, but it’s been almost 10 years now since Avatar became the biggest “original” film since the first Star Wars, and for the most part, the only new content we’ve had in all that time is news stories about what may or may not be in the sequels. Cameron first teased the possibility of Avatar sequels way back in 2006, back when the original Avatar was still in development, and shortly after the film’s premiere in 2009 the filmmaker said he was working on">“a trilogy-scaled arc of story”, even though he freely admitted that he “[hadn’t] really put any serious work into writing a script.”

That’s because, as Cameron explained nearly 10 years ago, he was focused instead on making sure he could expedite the production process. "My next goal is to refine the technique, make it easier so it doesn't take as long," he said. "We were doing a lot of pioneering work on Avatar. It wouldn't have taken as long if we already knew exactly how to do it.".

Of course, Cameron is the sort of filmmaker who likes to innovate, not just refine. Films like The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Titanic and Avatar pushed the boundaries of motion picture technology, and it didn’t take long for the director to start boasting of the advancements that the Avatar sequels would make as well. He revealed in 2010 that the next Avatar movies would not only explore more of the Alpha Centauri AB solar system, but would also">venture into the oceans of Pandora… and that would require all-new technology. Again.

“It’s never been done before,” the director explained to Collider over half a decade later, in 2017. “And it’s very tricky because our motion capture system, like most motion capture systems, is what they call optical base, meaning that it uses markers that are photographed with hundreds of cameras. The problem with water is not the underwater part, but the interface between the air and the water, which forms a moving mirror. That moving mirror reflects all the dots and markers, and it creates a bunch of false markers.”

f that sounds complicated, it’s because it is. Cameron revealed that in all the time the Avatar sequels have been in development, they only had their first successful test on November 14, 2017, and even that required his cast to hold their breaths underwater - while acting - for between two and four minutes at a time.

But although Cameron’s dream of underwater performance capture seems to have become a reality, not all of the filmmaker's technological aspirations have come true. He teased the possibility of the Avatar sequels using glasses-free 3D technology in 2016, only to backtrack one year later, explaining, “I don’t think that’s a near-term technology.”

The director also revealed back in 2011 that he planned to film the Avatar sequels in higher frame rates, at 48 or even 60 frames per second, claiming at CinemaCon that "the 3D shows you a window into reality; the higher frame rate takes the glass out of the window. In fact, it is just reality. It is really stunning.” However, that was one year before Peter Jackson tried to turn higher frame rates into the next big box office draw with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. But reactions to the technique were mixed, and the future of the process at multiplexes remains uncertain, even in the Avatar sequels.

Years after claiming he wanted to streamline the process, and years after">the official announcement that the sequels were going 


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I thought that Avatar as a story was way overrated. It’s the movie equivalent of “The Order” - very pretty, but not much fun. I’m not sure that there is enough story/character for a sequel.

All of this talk of revolutionary technology is boring. How about just make a good story with interesting characters first, rather than making a glorified tech demo.

Weve known this for quite a while. JC didnt want to make a botched version of the movie, so he purposely delayed it for a few years so that CG technology could advance to a point where everything he wanted to do was possible. if i remember correctly the original Avatar was first planned in the 80's or 90's but was delayed for the same reason.

Im looking forward to it. Of course its going to take long. Ita state of the art stuff, not run of the mill cgi fest like Beauty and the Beast of Avengers.

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Isn't avatar just basically a newer and CGI version of Fern Gully?

Get your Portable ID!

End of 2009 sales predictions:

PS3 - 33 Million     360 - 40 Million    Wii - 75 Million

agardini51 said:
Isn't avatar just basically a newer and CGI version of Fern Gully?

Or Pocahontas: Smurf Village.

I heard one of the reasons they are taking so long is that they are shooting three films at once.

So only tech? The first one never grabbed my attention.

Proud to be the first cool Nintendo fan ever

Number ONE Zelda fan in the Universe

DKCTF didn't move consoles

Prediction: No Zelda HD for Wii U, quietly moved to the succesor

Predictions for Nintendo NX and Mobile

I'm expecting to see things I've never seen before with the sequels. Hopefully it's good.

PS4(PS5 Soon)and PC gaming

There's only 2 races: White and 'Political Agenda'
2 Genders: Male and 'Political Agenda'
2 Hairstyles for female characters: Long and 'Political Agenda'
2 Sexualities: Straight and 'Political Agenda'

My Opinion: Because the first movie completely lacked creativity (it was just a hackneyed sci-fi rehash of several other movies that came before it), and the creative minds behind it have struggled to come up with ideas for sequels.