The Avatar franchise has turned into James Cameron’s Xanadu, a vanity project of staggering scale to which the public will seemingly never be permitted access. It’s kept him busy since 2009, as he’s concurrently scripted a whopping four sequels to the immensely lucrative 2009 sci-fi epic. Perhaps, one day, it shall be his tomb. But to us unwashed rabble in the general populace, the grand Avatar franchise is little more than an idea, and a weird idea at that. As our beloved Editor-in-Chief Matt Singer noted not too long ago, pretty much everybody has moved on from Avatar as a cultural touchstone. Cameron seems more jazzed about this plan than anyone else, but he’ll have to put his dreams on hold for a little while longer.

In a new interview with The Star, Cameron fielded a pointed question about his schedule for the rollout of Avatars 2-5. Reporter Tony Wong asked Cameron how development was coming along in advance of Cameron’s projected 2018 release date for his first sequel. Cameron presumably took a long, deep sigh, and answered:

Well, 2018 is not happening. We haven’t announced a firm release date. What people have to understand is that this is a cadence of releases. So we’re not making Avatar 2. We’re making Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5. It’s an epic undertaking. It’s not unlike building the Three Gorges dam. (Laughs) So I know where I’m going to be for the next eight years of my life. It’s not an unreasonable time frame if you think about it. It took us four-and-a-half years to make one movie and now we’re making four. We’re full tilt boogie right now.

Ah yes, the Full Tilt Boogie, the pre-production dance craze sweeping the nation. You announce a sequel to the right, postpone that sequel to the left, put both hands in, wiggle your foot, and pretend that you didn’t tell everyone at CinemaCon that there would be a new Avatar by 2018. Looks like Avatar‘s follow-up will run a full decade after the original release — just enough time to ensure that every single person has forgotten about it.