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In 2009, a cinematic phenomenon exploded into cinemas worldwide. It was a movie that received universal praise for its visually spectacular world, as well as its near flawless use of 3D. The latter accomplishment propelled 3D as the go-to technology for Hollywood, proving there was huge potential in the technology if the driving force behind a project only had the vision to implement it properly.
Avatar set a new standard for what was possible at the worldwide box office, earning a previously unimaginable 2.8 billion dollars worldwide. As such, it is understandable that both director James Cameron and studio 20th Century Fox was interested in returning to the world of Pandora for more adventures. It has been a slow process however, with news of a sequel first surfacing in 2010 but little to no headway made on the project until last year when Cameron announced there would be 3 sequels essentially shot back to back. Planning the films have been such a massive undertaking that Cameron and his 4 person writing team have spent over 6 months simply planning the sequels.
However, it seems that three films simply weren’t enough canvas for Cameron’s cinematic painting, as at this week’s CinemaCon, the Canadian born director confirmed there would be a fourth Avatar sequel added to the production slate, set for release in 2023. The first sequel is set to open in 2018, though no exact date has been confirmed. Avatar 3 and 4 will open in 2020 and 2022 respectively.
It will be interesting to see whether movie-goers are interested in four more visits to the land of Pandora, and Cameron is surely aware of the pressure placed on his shoulder for making the four films box office successes. Cameron is no stranger to making critically praised sequels however, having exceeded people’s expectations with the visually groundbreaking Terminator 2: Judgement Day in 1991 and presenting an action packed entry in the Alien saga with 1986’s Aliens.