James Cameron opened a digital Pandora’s box.
The director unveiled concept art for the much-anticipated sequel to the 2009 film “Avatar,” but rather than exciting fans, he got eviscerated by critics over the decade-long gap between films.
The concept art, which teases lush landscapes for the upcoming “Avatar 2,” debuted Monday at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The images were then posted by the official “Avatar” Twitter account with the caption: “You won’t just return to Pandora — you’ll explore new parts of the world.”
However, the sequel might be too late for fans, who promptly ripped Cameron on Twitter.
“Someone needs to sit James Cameron down, hold his hand, and say in soothing, calming tone ‘there are literally three people excited about Avatar 2,’” one person wrote. “It’s going to be hard, but he needs to know. It’s time.”
Others joked about how long it has taken Cameron, who recently saw “Avengers: Endgame” eclipse “Avatar” in becoming the highest-grossing film in history, to make a sequel. “Are we not past the concept art phase of ‘Avatar 2’ yet I thought James Cameron already filmed like five more movies or something,” one tweeted.
Another Twitter user joked about the gap between the films, writing: “Does anyone even remember what happened in ‘Avatar’? Bc all that I remember is weird ponytail sex.”
Production on “Avatar 2” was delayed several times over the past few years. Cameron called the setback “an epic undertaking . . . not unlike building the Three Gorges Dam,” the world’s largest hydropower project in China.
Plot details on the upcoming sci-fi epic remain sparse, however, “Avatar 2” will reportedly feature “the future generation of Pandora,” producer Jon Landau told Entertainment Weekly. Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver will be reprising their roles. The film will introduce the Metkayina, a new Na’vi tribe ruled by Tonowari played by Cliff Curtis (“Fear The Walking Dead”).
In a Monday interview with CNET’s Roadshow, Cameron promised that “Avatar 2” would feature more vehicles and other gadgetry. And the “Avatar”-themed cars aren’t limited to the big screen. James Cameron recently announced on Twitter that the team had partnered with Mercedes-Benz on a real-life “#VISIONAVTR concept car, inspired by the world of Pandora.”
“Avatar 2” is slated for a Dec. 17, 2021, release, followed by three more sequels in 2023, 2025 and 2027, according to Variety.