Forthcoming 'Avatar' sequel pushed past Christmas 2017 release

The "Avatar" sequel will not contend with "Star Wars: Episode 8" with a Christmas 2017 opening.
By Marilyn Malara  |  Jan. 22, 2016 at 11:28 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- James Cameron's anticipated Avatar sequel will not be ready for the expected Christmas 2017 release date, nor has a new date been established, it was reported Thursday.

This is the second known delay for the anticipated sequel, which is said to be the first in a new trilogy stemming from the 2009 original.

Twentieth Century Fox declined to comment on the film's status, The Wrap reports, although sources close to the project are said to have confirmed the change.

In December, Cameron told the Montreal Gazette Christmas 2017 was the new "target" for the next visually ambitious Avatar film, which is being filmed at the same time as its two follow-ups.

"At least, that's what we've announced," he said. "But I don't consider that to be as important as the fact that when we get all three films done, we drop them a year apart. I call it a meta-narrative that runs across the three movies. Each film stands alone, but it also tells one much larger story."

News of Avatar's latest delay comes shortly after it was announced the next Star Wars film will open at around the same time in 2017.

Disney Studios announced this week the eighth episode, executive produced by Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, will be moved from its May 26, 2017 release date to Dec. 15, 2017.

Rian Johnson is set to helm the next Star Wars film, with production beginning next month. Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will take over the original Star Wars release date.

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