Depending on your level of Avatar fandom, the delay between the first film and its eventual sequels could be construed as a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, James Cameron has certainly taken his time writing the two films, meaning we may not see the first one until 2015 at the earliest. That’s a six year gap from the original. However, he’s taking his time because he doesn’t want to rush out an inferior product, so hopefully Avatar 2 and 3 will be worth the wait.

The writer/director attended this week’s New Zealand premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and gave an update on the highly anticipated films. Cameron plans on finishing the screenplays by February and hopes to start filming (possibly in High Frame Rate) in late 2013. Read his quotes and more after the jump.

Cameron spoke with The West Australian at the premiere (via Film Stage) and had the following to say:

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.

So that’s why he’s been working on them for so long. But he now hopes to be done by February and shooting by the end of 2013. That could, in theory, mean he’ll have Avatar 2 ready for 2015, but it would likely be a bit of a rush.

Cameron also suggested that the success of the High Frame Rate screenings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey could lead to him shooting Avatar 2 and 3 in that format, something he’s been thinking of doing for some time:

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.

Read more of the director’s comments at the above links. Do you think Cameron will stand by this timeline?

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