James Cameron is pushing back the release date of his next Avatar film, which is now planned for late 2017 — one year later than he was originally targeting. Cameron is working on three new Avatar movies at once, which he plans to shoot simultaneously. He's also brought together a team of writers to script them simultaneously, but he tells the Associated Press that the writing process has been "very involved," making his 2016 date too ambitious. "There's a layer of complexity in getting the story to work as a saga across three films that you don't get when you're making a stand-alone film," Cameron says.
Cameron is able to get away with creating three Avatar movies at once and not being super concerned about their release date because he made the two highest grossing movies of all time, both domestically and worldwide. One of those two — the one in first place — also happens to be the original Avatar. He originally planned to make two Avatar sequels so that the series would conclude as a trilogy, but he later decided to just go ahead and make an entire trilogy to follow up the original. The plan is for the three films to stand on their own but to still feel as though they have an overarching narrative, even connecting back to the first film. Cameron hopes to release the following Avatar sequels on an annual basis. He plans to complete their scripts by the end of the month.