In an effort to save you some time on this fine mid-May Tuesday, if you’re an Avatar lover and have been desperately awaiting the sequel(s), you better pack your bags and hightail it the hell up outta here now, because the rest of this article is going to be spent treating this fugazi franchise like it’s cheap quarantine toilet paper.
It’s a difficult phenomenon to describe, but do you know how some people just have supremely punchable faces? They could be the nicest fella in the world, and yet, their face will still scream “please, good sir, uncork a fully-loaded right hook right into the center of this idiot mug!” We’ve all encountered these people before — whether or not we’ve actually punched them is a different story.
That’s how I feel about Avatar: if a movie were a person, this one would be named Chad Bennett Wellington Jr. and he would have the Google Image #1 Result of punchable faces. He’d deflect threats with responses like “do you know who my father is?” and “I’ll sue your ass.” He’d be the Ellen Degeneres of movies: everyone thinks they love them, but once you look beneath the surface, you realize just how unbearable they truly are.
Oddly enough, though, what bothers me most about the movie is not so much the film itself — which is flaming garbage, to be clear — but more so its reputation and the cockiness it inspires in James Cameron. Until Avengers: Endgame came along, Avatar was the highest-grossing movie of all-time for a solid decade, and that just — as Peter Griffin once said — grinds my gears. Do you even know who the lead actor in Avatar is? I bet you $2 that you can’t name him without Google. Here’s a hint: he also starred in that Terminator movie with Christian Bale. Talk about an acid trip, am I right? Still can’t guess? That’s what I thought — his name is Sam Worthington and you can Venmo me at @Eric-Italiano.
Then, of course, there’s how long it’s taken. Had Cameron cranked these out within a relatively reasonable timespan, I’d have more respect for the franchise. But the fact is he’s overpromised and underdelivered. The decade-plus delaying of the sequels has turned into a meme in and of itself. The movie world has moved on and only check back in to occasionally dunk on the seemingly routine setbacks, such as this latest albeit unprecedented hold-up:
“It’s putting a major crimp in our stride here,” he said when speaking to Empire for the new Celebration Of Cinema issue. “I want to get back to work on Avatar, which right now we’re not allowed to do under state emergency laws or rules. So it’s all on hold right now.” Speaking from his Malibu home, the filmmaker explained that he was about to travel halfway across the globe for a phase of the shoot before lockdown put paid to those plans. “We were about to shoot down in New Zealand, so that got pushed. We’re trying to get back to it as quick as we can.”
Still, Cameron seemed optimistic that shooting might not be held off for too long – and that it won’t affect the current 17 December 2021 release date. “On the bright side, New Zealand seems to have been very effective in controlling the virus and their goal is not mitigation, but eradication, which they believe that they can do with aggressive contact tracing and testing,” he explained. “So there’s a very good chance that our shoot might be delayed a couple of months, but we can still do it. So that’s good news.” [via Empire]
Ah, yes, Avatar 2 is being delayed — a statement that’s been true since 2009, which was before the premiere of Game of Thrones, the release of the first iPad, and the invention of Instagram.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him email@example.com