Eight years ago, James Cameron made Film history by writing and directing the highest-grossing movie of all-time (for the second time). His science-fiction action-adventure romance film “Avatar” grossed around $2.7 billion worldwide, beating his own “Titanic” (another epic romance) to the all-time top spot. Even “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” couldn’t top “Avatar’s” massive success.

Obviously sequels were going to happen following the immense success of the first “Avatar” film. 20th Century Fox wouldn’t just let that go and move on. Of course they want to monopolise on this giant, massively profitable brand they’ve cultivated that has international appeal all-round.

And they’re not just doing one sequel and seeing how that goes, feeling it out. They’re a bit more confident than that and have a bit more faith in Cameron than a mere one sequel, so there’s four on the way.

The sequels have been riddled with delays

Naturally, with such a huge undertaking – Cameron’s planning to make all four “Avatar” films side-by-side at the same time, so the kind of movie that usually takes the longest to make (epic, interplanetary, three hours or so long, laden with visual effects being put together with brand new technologies) is now taking four times longer to make – there have been countless delays on the franchise.

Originally, the first sequel was supposed to be released in 2014.

Obviously that never panned out, and neither did the next slated release date in 2016. Then it was supposed to be coming out sometime next year, but Cameron has come forward to admit, once again, that he will not be meeting the planned release date with the first “Avatar” sequel. He’s instead giving himself a wide timeframe in which to perfect the film.

At least production is finally underway

Production on the “Avatar” sequels has been a long time coming. They keep pushing it back. But finally, they’ve started production. 20th Century Fox had an original plan to release an “Avatar” film every year, like Disney is doing with “Star Wars,” but there’s no way Cameron can work at such a rapid pace, and he won’t be willing to sell the franchise away and hand it over to a bunch of other directors like George Lucas did.

Anyway, the release dates as they currently stand are as follows: “Avatar 2” is coming on 18 December 2020, “Avatar 3” on 17 December 2021 (a little bit in keeping with Fox’s film-a-year plan), and then there’ll be a three-year break before “Avatar 4” on 20 December 2024 and “Avatar 5” 19 December 2025. It must be something about December. The first one came out in December, so Fox must think there’s a correlation between the gargantuan success of “Avatar” and its release in December. It’s like what Universal is doing by releasing all of its “Fast & Furious” films in April. They want to replicate each film’s success to the T, and to be fair, it’s been working. The latest had the biggest opening weekend of all time.

Will it be worth the wait?

This is surely the question on everybody’s minds regarding the “Avatar” sequels, which will see the return of the original’s stars Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang (despite his character’s apparent death in the first film). Cameron promises the sequels will be worth the wait, claiming they will be “b*tchin’,” and that when you watch them, “you will sh*t yourself with your mouth wide open.” So, yeah.