Bad news for Avatar fans old and reborn alike: the follow-up trilogy has been pushed back a year due to unforeseen screenwriting difficulties, assumedly related to James Cameron having to come up with so many more funny names for stuff.
"There's a layer of complexity in getting the story to work as a saga across three films that you don't get when you're making a stand-alone film," Cameron told the Associated Press. It's like how, when you're only writing for one film, you can just toss in a bullshit name like "Tsu'tey", or you can call the Na'vi leader "Eytukan", because you figure you're just going to kill those guys off before you have to worry about how to pronounce them anyway. But once you start planning three films at a time, seeing hundreds of script pages in front of you, it starts to be like, man, what was I thinking with "Mo'at"? That's just "moat" with an apostrophe. I can do better than that. I wrote Titanic.
"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," Cameron explained. "And parallel with that, we're doing all the design. So we've designed all the creatures and the environments." Complicating matters: all of those creatures and environments also need names. That is so many names! And sure, Pandora was easy, but people are going to catch on to the naming process if another place is just called "Spotify."
So, Cameron is going to take another year to sort all that out, and now the first sequel will arrive in "late 2017" instead of late 2016. But just wait until you hear how much that extra time pays off in nomenclature. These names are going to make "sturmbeest" and "arachnoid" sound stupid, if you can believe that.