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James Cameron Delays the Avatar Sequel; When Is Its New Release Date?

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Tim Surette

This news will leave you feeling bluer than the Na'vi princess Neytiri. James Cameron has pushed back the release of the sequel to his smash hit Avatar, meaning we'll have to wait even longer to see a bunch of space Smurfs deliver not-so-subtle lessons on being green.

At an event in New Zealand, where the remaining Avatar films will be shot, Cameron said the first of three follow-ups will be delayed until 2017, according to BBC News. The movie was originally scheduled for a December 2016 release.

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So what's the cause of the delay? Writing. Cameron and his team are penning all three Avatar films simultaneously, and the task has proven a little trickier than he initially thought.

"There's a layer of complexity in getting the story to work as a saga across three films," Cameron said. "We're writing three simultaneously and we've done that so that everything tracks throughout the three films."

Avatar is the highest-grossing film in history, netting nearly $2.8 billion at the box office after it was released in 2009.

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