‘Avatar’ sequels delayed until late 2017

It looks like construction on the Avatar-themed land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom may be going more quickly than production on the next movie in the Avatar series.

Director James Cameron said this week that the first of a three-part sequel series won’t hit the big screen before late 2017, the Associated Press reported. That’s because Cameron and his team are writing all three sequels before going into production.

“We’re writing three simultaneously. And we’ve done that so that everything tracks throughout the three films. We’re not just going to do one and then make up another one and another one after that,” he said. “And parallel with that, we’re doing all the design. So we’ve designed all the creatures and the environments.”

The new release date is several months after the Avatar section of Animal Kingdom was expected to open. Ground was broken one year ago, and construction was expected to take about three years — putting its opening in early 2017.

Of course, construction delays and production delays could conspire to put the two opening days quite close together, which could turn out to be fortuitous for Disney.