Steve Asbell, president of 20th Century Studios, has made assurances that we really are getting Avatar 2 this year “for real.” It’s currently set for release on December 16, 2022. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Asbell spoke about the changing theatrical landscape and more.
Asbell said that the studio would be aiming to produce; “two or three theatrical movies a year. We’re navigating the marketplace like everyone else. There are movies like Avatar, Planet of the Apes and now Free Guy that have well-established theatrical precedence for a wide audience,” with the rest going to streaming.
As for Avatar 2, Asbell said; “It’s going to blow people away. You’re not ready for what Jim is doing.” The many Avatar sequels have had an extremely long gestation period, with them first being discussed in 2011, and with Avatar 2 having a 2014 release date, then a 2018 release date along the way.
Asked how they were going to generate excitement for a sequel to a movie that came out in 2009, Asbell said; “I can tell you that there is no better marketing apparatus in the business than the one at Disney. They will do an incredible job reigniting that passion for the original film.”
He continued; “This is not just a sequel, it’s a saga. And it’s a family saga. It will be compelling on its own, but it will also be extremely compelling to return to those characters and to see how they’ve evolved. It’s less about Avatar being a really big movie and more about how Avatar was a really important cultural moment for audiences. I don’t think it will be hard to convince people to come back.”
Avatar 2 stars Kate Winslet, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, and Edie Falco. Returning cast-members include Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi, Stephen Lang, and CCH Pounder.
The plot synopsis is; “Jake Sully (Worthington) and Ney’tiri (Saldana) have formed a family and are doing everything to stay together. However, they must leave their home and explore the regions of Pandora. When an ancient threat resurfaces, Jake must fight a difficult war against the humans.”