Exclusive: Avatar 2 Not Likely In 2014

Jon Landau: '2014 will be tough to make'

This week Titanic steams for our screens in iceberg-sharpening 3D. With his production partner decompressing after his trip to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, Jon Landau sat down with Empire to talk about the newly relaunched event movie. Naturally we couldn't resist the urge to get a status report on their other major epic.

So is Avatar 2 still on course for that mooted late 2014 release date? Well, possibly not. When we caught up with the producer recently he denied any delay, but this time he was a lot more circumspect: "We're not naming dates, but I think 2014 will be a tough date for us to make. It's about getting it right."

As Landau was at pains to point out: "Movies make release dates; release dates don't make movies". Reading between the lines, it's safe to say that we won't be heading back to Pandora until 2015 at the earliest, with the third instalment likely in 2016 or 2017.

Dispel any idea, though, that Landau and Cameron's Avatar team are kicking their heels and playing Home Tree conkers. "We've started already," he says Landau. "WETA are already working and we have our core team, (animation supervisor) Richie Baneham and (digital effects supervisor) Nolan Murtha, working with us. And we're working on underwater performance-capture."

So what of those aquatic environments? "It's going to be like the Floating Mountains in the first movie," explains the producer. "It's not going to be all underwater; it's going to be a place we go to, leave and come back to." So can we assume there'll be some serious subsea hardware? "You can assume that..."

Titanic 3D is out on April 6.