Avatar 2 to begin filming by the end of 2013, possibly using 48fps
With AVATAR 2 being pushed back to a 2015 release date, James Cameron had given himself a nice pre-production buffer. That time looks like it will be spent finishing the screenplays for the sequels and prequel to the biggest grossing film of all time.
Cameron told the press in New Zealand that he is still working on writing the films. He told them it was all New Zealand's fault: “Unfortunately it’s too damn distracting because it’s so beautiful [...] I want to get these scripts nailed down, I don’t want to be writing the movie in post production [...] We kind of did that on the first picture, I ended up cutting out a lot of scenes and so on and I don’t want to do that again.”
It remains to be seen exactly how much work is left on the scripts, but Cameron continued to say he wants them finished by February 2013 so shooting can begin by the end of the year. That means there will be just about 2 years from the beginning of shooting to the potential release of the first sequel, assuming it is released around the holidays like the original was.
Cameron was also asked if he planned to utilize the same higher frame rate that Peter Jackson is trying to usher in with THE HOBBIT movies. I would have thought it was a foregone conclusion that Cameron would embrace 48fps, but it doesn't seem to be so cut and dry.
“If there is acceptance of 48, then that will pave the way for AVATAR [sequels] to take advantage of it [...] We charged out ahead on 3D with Avatar, now Peter’s doing it with THE HOBBIT. It takes that kind of bold move to make change.”
Considering Cameron made a huge gamble by filming AVATAR in 3D, even if it did pay off, it seems like his reluctance to go with 48fps until he sees how THE HOBBIT fares speaks volumes about the format.
Either in the higher frame rate or just plain old upcharged 3D, it looks like AVATAR 2 is moving according to schedule.