James Cameron explains Avatar 2 delays: "I'm living in Pandora right now"S

Last we heard, Avatar 2 should have been filming this year — but alas, the mighty James Cameron is still drafting the screenplay. But the director isn't discouraged by the slow going — he says he's "deep" into the script, and points out that everyone should back off, because it's not like he has some book like Lord of the Rings he can copy.

In an interview with Play Goes Strong, Cameron gives an update on his progress, and explains why his pal Peter Jackson had it easy:

I’m working on ‘Avatar 2′ and ‘Avatar 3.’ I was talking the other day with Peter Jackson and said, ‘You had it easy dude. You had the books when you did the second and third ‘Lord of the Rings.’ I have to create my own books in my head and extract a script from it. I’m deep into it and I’m living in Pandora right now. There is that start up torque where you feel it’s coming to you. Then you build up momentum. That’s when it gets fun. The characters talk and it’s writing itself. I’m almost there right now. It’s building fast.

[Interviewer asks about the pressure to deliver] Pressure, no. It’s a little daunting because sequels are always tricky. You have to be surprising and stay ahead of audience anticipation. At the same time, you have to massage their feet with things that they know and love about the first film. I’ve walked that line in the past, so I’m not too worried about it. At the same time, I definitely have to deliver the goods.

We're happy for Cameron to take his time, if it leads to a second Avatar that's even better than the first. [via Bleeding Cool]