For the better part of a decade, the most fascinating narrative about the Avatar sequels was their release dates. Now that we think that's settled, director James Cameron has finally begun to reveal what the actual narrative will be about: Family. Speaking to Variety, Cameron revealed for the first time what the Avatar sequels will be about in terms of story:
The storyline in the sequels really follows Jake and Neytiri and their children. It's more of a family saga about the struggle with the humans.
A "family saga" makes sense, considering Cameron is promising not just one, but four sequels. To see Jake and Neytiri grow old, pass the torch to their children, maybe die and get a real sense of history would fit well into a five-film saga. Not to mention, take up less of Zoe Saldana's time.
The first of those sequels is still on track for Christmas 2018 but Cameron admitted that he's OK with changing it again if he must. (It was originally scheduled for release in 2014.)
"We haven't moved that target yet, but we will if we need to," the director told Variety. "The important thing for me is not when the first one comes out but the cadence of the release pattern. I want them to be released as close together as possible. If it's an annual appointment to show up at Christmas, I want to make sure that we're able to fulfil on that promise."
At the moment, the films are scheduled a few years apart. Avatar 2 will be released Christmas 2018. Avatar 3 will follow on Christmas 2020, Avatar 4 on Christmas 2022 and finally Avatar 5 on Christmas 2023.