March 10 (UPI) -- James Cameron has announced that his planned sequel to Avatar has been pushed back and will not release in 2018.
"Well, 2018 is not happening. We haven't announced a firm release date," the filmmaker said in a new interview with The Toronto Sun while promoting his new documentary Atlantis Rising.
"What people have to understand is that this is a cadence of releases. So we're not making Avatar 2, we're making Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5. It's an epic undertaking. It's not unlike building the Three Gorges dam," he continued.
Originally, Avatar 2 was scheduled to hit theaters on Christmas Day 2018 with Avatar 3 landing in 2020 followed by Avatar 4 in 2022 and then Avatar 5 in 2023.
"So I know where I'm going to be for the next eight years of my life," Cameron said of filming the sequels back to back.
"It's not an unreasonable time frame if you think about it. It took us four-and-a-half years to make one movie and now we're making four. We're full tilt boogie right now. This is my day job and pretty soon we'll be 24-7. We're pretty well designed on all our creatures and sets. It's pretty exciting stuff. I wish I could share with the world. But we have to preserve a certain amount of showmanship and we're going to draw that curtain when the time is right."
News of the delay comes as Pandora: The World of Avatar is set to open at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando on May 27.
Cameron and his production company Lightstorm Entertainment have also announced a new joint-venture with video game publisher Ubisoft to develop a new title based on Avatar.