At long last, the sequels to “Avatar” have their release dates. Definitely. Possibly.
On Saturday, the Avatar Facebook page posted an image of the director James Cameron and a large production crew, with the caption “Avatar takes flight as we begin concurrent production on four sequels. The journey continues December 18, 2020, December 17, 2021, December 20, 2024, and December 19, 2025!”
This isn’t the first time that Mr. Cameron has announced a release date for the film, though — far from it. In 2010, a year after “Avatar” ushered in a new era of 3-D filmmaking and became the highest-grossing film of all time, Mr. Cameron said sequels would arrive starting in December 2014. In 2012 he spent an estimated $16 million to buy 2,500 acres of farmland in New Zealand, hoping to recreate the lushness of the planet Pandora there, and pushed the first release date to 2015. A year later, as Mr. Cameron spent time exploring the deepest parts of the ocean, the date crept to December 2017.
Now there are four sequels in gestation, with the first scheduled — for real this time — for three years from now. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang are expected to return to their roles from the original movie. And in the meantime, Disney will open a Pandora-themed section in its Animal Kingdom Theme Park in Orlando, Fla., next month.