Fans have been waiting for the sequel to James Cameron's record-breaking hit film Avatar since it premiered in 2009, and, with a December 2020 release date, the next installment is still pretty far away. While you wait on more of Jake and Neytiri's adventures, some books based on James Cameron's Avatar are coming out for children and adult readers.
Originally slated to premiere in 2015, the second Avatar film has been a long time in the making, to put it mildly. That should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the history of the first film, however. Avatar was Cameron's first film since 1997's Titanic, and had been kicking around the director's head since at least 1994, when he wrote the original script. In light of the 12 years it took to make the original movie, the seven-year-long wait for Avatar 2 to begin filming appears downright understandable.
The books based on James Cameron's Avatar do not have publication dates at the time of this writing, but a Penguin Random House press release says that the publisher intends to employ "a multiyear publishing strategy that will begin during the lead-up to 'Avatar 2' and continue through and beyond the release of 'Avatar 5,'" which means that fans are likely to see the Avatar books before the second Avatar movie hits theaters.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Avatar "grossed more than $2.7 billion worldwide," with a production cost of around $287 million. James Cameron secured a slightly larger check for the Avatar sequels, which will be filmed in sequence — à la Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings — "at an estimated collective budget expected to surpass $1 billion," according to Deadline. For comparison, consider that The Hobbit trilogy took only $745 million to film, making it one of the most expensive movie franchises ever.
At this time, it isn't clear which aspects of Cameron's Avatar the new books will choose to tackle. The Penguin Random House press release states that the titles will "expand and enrich the ‘Avatar’ universe," and confirms that books for both children and adults are on the agenda. Even though Avatar kind of rips off Dances with Wolves, The Smurfs, and Black Panther, it's difficult to not get excited for books that dig into James Cameron's created world.
Look for the new books based on James Cameron's Avatar, coming your way soon from Penguin Random House.