In 2009 James Cameron made us awestruck with his ground breaking use of motion capture and 3-D technology wrapped up in a re-hashed Dances With Wolves plot, mustache twirling villains, and a vapid environmental moral lesson. Not long afterwards, we were promised two sequels first showing up in time for Christmas 2014 with the follow-up the next year. Well, seems like things have changed. Producer Jon Landau told Empire that we won’t see the first sequel until at least 2015, if then, “We’re not naming dates, but I think 2014 will be a tough date for us to make.” He went on to say, “It’s about getting it right … movies make release dates; release dates don’t make movies.” Star Wars fans know the pain of waiting long after promised release dates as the prequels were originally promised to hit theaters, one per year, starting in 1998.
What could lead to such delays? Well, for one thing, Cameron has been spending some time with his other hobby (the one that’s taken him out of mainstream film making since Titanic) of deep sea exploration. He’s traveled seven miles below the ocean’s surface in his own sub. He’s also in the midst of converting his previous blockbuster Titanic into 3-D as well as making the slight alteration to the night sky to assuage astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson’s criticism of the historically incorrect starscape used in the release. Another speed bump may be the time it takes to develop the technology needed to create the alien world. As I’ve indicated, I feel that the first film lacks an interesting or new plot. The movie got away with it by being a spectacle. Unless Cameron decides to bring back his A-game, I don’t see much of a change in approach for the follow-ups. That means that Cameron’s going to need a bigger spectacle than the last to cover up the lackluster plotting. His plans to cover this area seems to be by combining his hobby with the film by introducing the life in the oceans of Pandora. Landau has promised that it won’t be a centerpiece of the film, “It’s going to be like the Floating Mountains in the first movie. It’s not going to be all underwater; it’s going to be a place we go to, leave and come back to.” They’re also constructing the scripts as stand alone features, so we won’t have to worry about a Pirates of the Caribbean yawner that works simply as a set-up to next movie.