This is a timeline of the real-world events in relation to the Avatar series.
James Cameron wrote a short film script entitled "Chrysalis", about a wheel-chair user who has all sensory input surgically removed and undertakes an inward journey across an alien landscape.
Cameron produces a pencil sketch entitled "Exploring the Exotic Environment of a Luminous Planet". The sketch shows a male and female character on an alien planet and a tree with a spiral shape. The tree in the drawing became the basis for the helicoradian, and the "brain coral floor" went on to become the basis for the area around the Tree of Souls. Cameron also made a series of paintings, showing "jagged, vertical mountains or cliffs wreathed by clouds and mist". These paintings contain "material that was not used in the Avatar film but may be used in Avatar sequels".  Cameron also completes his first short film, Xenogenesis. Many themes that would later appear in Avatar existed in the film, including an early Fan Lizard, a glowing willow tree and bioluminescent moss.
James Cameron made a painting of "A tall, thin woman with blue skin, who is wearing skin-tight purple pants", on a plain of "magenta grass". This would later influence the design of Neytiri, who does indeed wear such garb during the film. The plains also went on to become the basis for the area inhabited by the Horse Clan of the Plains.
Cameron writes the script for Mother, a film where Humans have exhausted Earth's resources and hunt for a new planet, spearheaded by a mining corporation. They use "Xenomorphs", genetically engineered servants who can cope with the harsh atmosphere. The film would have even included an early version of the Thanator, under the name "Skraath".
Cameron writes the script for Rambo: First Blood Part II, a film set in the jungles of Vietnam. The Russian "Hind D" heavy gunships in the film would go on to influence the design of the aircraft in Avatar. Cameron also starts writing the script for Aliens around this time.
- 28: Cameron completes the script for Aliens.
Casting calls go out for Aliens. Stephen Lang auditioned for one of the marines but is ultimately rejected; however Cameron recalled this interview while looking for actors to play Quaritch during pre-production of Avatar.
- 18: Aliens is released, the first time that Cameron worked with Sigourney Weaver.
Cameron writes the script for Wind Warriors, a traditional jungle-adventure story where native warriors are forced to defend their land from gas-masked mercenaries seeking a precious metal. The film was never made. 
- 29: James Cameron purchases four pieces of Morawaski's art, and Morawaski signs an NDA which transfers ownership of his work to Lightstorm.
- 4: While working on an adaptation of Burning Chrome, Gerald Morawski met with Cameron and pitched the film "Guardians of Eden" about "a struggle between an evil mining conglomerate and an indigenous tribe." This became the basis for the lawsuit between the two in late 2012, although Cameron denied the incident occured at all.
- 6:Morawaski sends a summary of "Guardians of Eden" to Lightstorm, but it is ultimately rejected.
James Cameron writes an 80 page scriptment for the first film, and shows it to Jon Landau while they are working on Titanic. For the next two years, a series of meetings with Lightstorm and Digital Domain take place to discuss the technological aspect.
Copies of Project 880 are sent to 20th Century Fox for initial development. 
- Cameron announces that he will film Project 880 after Titanic, and will make use of computer-generated actors.
Around this time, the film is delayed, because the technology simply wasn't there yet.
James Cameron produces a short named Brother Termite, involving an alien character animated with motion capture. This was one of the factors convincing him that the technology had progressed enough and that Avatar might be possible to produce.
- Rob Legato shows Cameron and Landau tests that he had created with a "virtual camera".  Cameron goes back over the Project 880 script and begins revamping it. 
- 14: The Hollywood Reporter makes the first official announcement of the film, under the name "Project 880".
- James Cameron decides to make Project 880 before Battle Angel.
- 30: Shooting for the Avatar Prototype begins, using temporary actors Yunjin Kim and Daniel Bess as Neytiri and Jake Sully, respectively. 
- Morawski writes to James Cameron, asking for a meeting with him before he "start[ed] shooting [his] upcoming feature."
- ILM complete the VFX for the prototype.
- The first draft of the Avatar script is completed.
- 29: The casting call goes out, with a brief plot description. That summer, Sam Worthington is informed that he had been chosen while he is out snowboarding.
- 3: Joe Letteri and Weta Digital sign on to produce the visual effects for the film.
- Avatar is greenlit. 
- 7: Entertainment Weekly interviews James Cameron, discussing the budget of the movie.
- Several practice shots are completed in Hawaii, to allow the actors to get a feel for the natural environment.
- 17: MTV announces numerous actors who have been signed for the film, including Sigourney Weaver, CCH Pounder and Joel Moore.
- 23: An initial release date of May 22nd 2009 is announced.
- Principle photography for the first film begins.
- 30: During an interview with IGN about her role in The Shield, CCH Pounder discusses her role as Mo'at.
- 17: Laz Alonso is interviewed at the premiere of Captivity, but would not reveal details on the movie, saying that he had to sign something to swear secrecy. He did go on to praise the visual effects of the film, and the actors he would be working with. Avatar's release date is brought forward one week to May 15th 2009, in order to avoid clashing with the release of Monsters vs. Aliens.
- 25: It is announced that Ubisoft would be producing the computer game, with an initial release date of May 2009.
- 24: Live action shooting begins in New Zealand. 
- 3: Cameron writes a letter to film critic Harry Knowles, dispelling rumours over the alleged piece of artwork showing a Na'vi.
- 12: Avatar's release is delayed from May to December 2009.
- 22: James Cameron gives an update on the progress the movie has had, saying that "The Weta animators are ON FIRE".
- 5: Live action shooting is completed. 
- 15: James Cameron discusses Avatar on The Hour, expressing the difficulties with the large CG world.
- 29: Jon Favreau discusses the 3D pipeline for Avatar in an interview with Ain't it Cool News.
- 6: It is announced that Avatar will be released in IMAX format.
- 22: The first on-set photograph is released.
- 29: James Cameron is interviewed at the Australians in Film Awards, discussing his choice of Sam Worthington. "He's an old-school tough guy, and that's what I needed for this film."
- 23: Jon Landau, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, and Sigourney Weaver are interviewed in a panel at the San Diego Comic-Con.
- 21: The first trailer of the film is released.
- 1: The Art of Avatar: James Cameron's Epic Adventure is released in the USA.
- 16: James Cameron's Avatar: The Movie Scrapbook is released in Canada.
- 24: The Art book is released in the United Kingdom, and the Movie Scrapbook is released in the USA. The Na'vi Quest, a children's novelization of the film, is also released along with a Sticker Book.
- 28: Post production is completed. 
- 1: James Cameron's Avatar: The Game is released, along with the Activist Survival Guide.
- 8: The PSP version of the game is released.
- 10: The film premieres in London, and Pandora Discovered is released.
- 11: The Original Soundtrack is released digitally.
- 15: The soundtrack goes on sale in CD format.
- 18: Avatar is released worldwide.
- 29: Joe Letteri discusses his role in the CG work for the film with The Wrap James Cameron also suggests that the sequels could take place on the other moons of Polyphemus.
- 30: Avatar's gross hits $700,000,000 dollars after just 12 days.
- 31: President Obama watches the film with his family.
- 4: Avatar's worldwide gross crosses the $1 billion mark in a record 17 days, smashing the previous record of 197 days set by The Dark Knight. It is also the first science fiction movie to do so.
- 17: Avatar is awarded two Golden Globes: Best Director (James Cameron) and Best Motion Picture Drama.
- 19: Avatar's US gross passes the $500 million mark in 32 days, beating the previous record of 45 days.
- 25: The tourism bureau of Zhangjiajie in Hunan announces that the "South Pillar of the Heaven" ????, a Chinese mountain, has been renamed to "Avatar Hallelujah Mountain".
- 26: Box office figures of the film pass Titanic, making Avatar the most successful film of all time.
- 1: A Musical Score book is released.
- 2: Avatar is nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director (James Cameron).
- 19: In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Cameron reveals that the DVD will be released on Earth Day.
- 21: Avatar recieves two BAFTA awards, for Best Special Video Effects and Best Production Design.
- 1: A simplified version of the Piano score is released.
- 7: Avatar is awarded three Academy Awards at the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood. It becomes the first 3D movie to win the Best Cinematography Oscar. 
- 12: Cameron appears in Brazil at a Belo Monte Dam protest. 
- 16: Three Na'vi morphing stations are installed at The Grove, Los Angeles.
- 19: The Deluxe edition of the soundtrack is released.
- 20: CCH Pounder is interviewed by Movie Web, and discusses the sequel. Meanwhile, James Cameron confirms that the sequel will explore the oceans of Pandora.
- 22: The first DVD version of the film is released, and James Cameron announces the Avatar Home Tree Initiative, which aims to plant one million trees worldwide.
- 24: A giant interactive replica of the Tree of Souls is unveiled by Stephen Lang in Hyde Park, London, in support of the DVD release.
- 25: Avatar breaks the record for DVD and Blu-ray sales, with 6.7 million copies being sold in the first four days. The record was originally held by The Dark Knight.
- 26: The Tree of Souls replica is closed.
- 11: Avatar breaks the record for Blu-ray sales in the United Kingdom, overtaking The Dark Knight's 490,633 sales.
- 24: Avatar recieves ten Saturn awards. In addition, James Cameron personally received the visionary award.
- 27: The Special Edition of the film is released theatrically, with 9 minutes of never-before-seen footage.
- 1: The Avatar 3D Annual 2011 is released by Pedigree Books
- 18: It is announced that Cameron plans on filming the sequel in Chalenger Deep, 6.8 miles beneath the surface of the ocean.
- 1: The Making of Avatar is released.
- 27: James Cameron is interviewed in San Jose, and discusses how the second and third films will be shot at a higher framerate.
- 15: The Avatar: Collector's Vault 3D is released.
- 16: The Extended Collector's Edition of the film is released on Blu-ray and DVD.
- 1: The first 3D Blu-ray discs are released, limited to a bundle deal with Panasonic 3D TVs.
- 6: Cameron announces that "Avatar: The Exhibition" will open in June 2011 in Seattle.
- 18: Sam Worthington is interviewed by Moviefone on the set of "Man on a Ledge". He mentions that Cameron has already explained a few ideas for the sequel, but has yet to write the script.
- 19: The Avatar Home Tree Initiative reaches its target of planting one million trees worldwide. 
- 24: Cameron announces general release dates for the second and third films; around christmas of 2014 and 15 respectively.
- 30: The Avatar: Collector Chess Set is released by The Noble Collection.
- 31: In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Cameron stated that the use of higher framerate in the sequels will partially be to reduce the sickness that some people experience while watching 3D films. 
- 26: In an interview, James Cameron hints at a possible 3D MMORPG set in the Avatar universe.
- 9: James Cameron and Jon Landau announce that Kathy Franklin has been hired as President of Franchise Development at Lightstorm Entertainment.
- 12: In an interview, Sam Worthington reaffirms that the Avatar Novel is still under production.
- 16: In an interview, Sigourney Weaver confirms her return in Avatar 2. 
- 21: Disney announce that it is developing an Avatar area in their Orlando theme park, with construction beginning in 2013. James Cameron confirms that the novel is still in development, but is taking time.
- 11: In an interview with ABC News, James Cameron discussed how Avatar 2 would be more focused on oceanic environmental issues rather than the broader environmentalist scope of the first film.
- 9: Former Lightstorm employee Eric Ryder launches a lawsuit claiming that the idea for Avatar came from K.R.Z. 2068, a film he worked on.
- 13: Morawaski files an action against James Cameron, which sparks a year-long lawsuit.
- 4: Morawaski's claim for breach of contract is filed.
- 6: Sam Worthington is interviewed by MTV, expressing his nervousness about scuba diving and shooting underwater.
- 11: Jon Landau announces that Avatar 2 won't be ready for another four years, pushing the release date back to 2016 or possibly Christmas 2015.
- 26: Elijah Schkeiban, author of "Bats and Butterflies", starts a court case claiming that James Cameron used his story.
- 8: James Cameron completes an 8km deep test dive off the coast of Papua New Guinea in his new craft, Deep Sea Challenger.
- 26: Cameron dives to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, the deepest point on earth.
- 30: The dive is discussed in an interview, and Cameron also mentions that Avatar 2 will be influenced by Micronesian "Master Navigator" culture.
- 4: Jon Landau reveals a few more details on Avatar 2 in an interview, particularly the appearance of "Serious sub-sea hardware".
- 19: The Science of Avatar is released.
- 6: James Cameron hints at a possible Avatar 4 in an interview, also stating that Battle Angel and his other projects were being put on the back burner so that he could work on the Avatar series. 
- 26: Sigourney Weaver confirms her appearance in the possible fourth film, and also suggested that the sequels would begin simultaneous shooting in the autumn.
- 10: James Cameron reveals that Avatar will be released on 3D Blu-ray. The disks had previously only been available in bundle with certain 3D TVs and Blu-ray players. Also in the video was some kind of RDA commercial, mainly utilising footage from the first film.
- 14: Release dates for the limited 3D edition are announced, set for October 16th in the US and October 15th in other regions.
- 3: As scheduled, Avatar: The Exhibition closes.
- 8: Cameron reveals that the recently announced fourth film will in fact be a prequel, most likely chronicling the initial colonization of Pandora 25-35 years before the events of the first film.
- 10: Cameron comments on the progress on the scripts, and stated that pre-production is expected to begin in January 2013.
- 17: The Schkeiban vs Cameron case concludes in Cameron's favour. The judge ruled that "'Bats and Butterflies'... lacks the depth and complexity of the moods expressed in 'Avatar,'"
- 9: Dileep Rao is asked about Avatar 2 on the set of Broken Kingdom
- 16: The Limited 3D edition is released.
- 17: Disney Park Chairman Tom Staggs dispels rumours of the cancellation of Avatar land in an interview.
- 31: As part of the Morawaski-Cameron case which was about to go public, Cameron signs a declaration explaining the origins of his ideas in Avatar.
- 13:The motion for summary judgement is issued in the Morawaski case.
- 5: National Geographic interview James Cameron about his dive that March. 
- 10: The Morawaski case goes public. James Cameron's declaration is released publicly, detailing his inspirations and ideas for Avatar and how they stemmed from forty years of filmmaking and personal experience, not from Morawaski's pitch in 1991.
- 13: Avatar becomes the first film to sell over a million blu-rays in the United Kingdom.
- 24: Cameron is forced to hand over drafts of Avatar's screenplay to lawyers as part of the ongoing lawsuit filed by Eric Ryder.
- 6: The Morawaski-Cameron case concludes in Cameron's favour, judges ruling the premise for Avatar was original and not based on Morawaski's film concept from 1991.
- 9: Avatar: The Exhibition opens at its new home at Liberty Science Centre, New Jersey, exclusively to members.
- 11: Cameron resigns from RealD in order to spend more time on filmmaking.
- 16: Avatar: The Exhibition opens to the public. It is scheduled to remain until May 19th.
- 11: Play Goes Strong interview Cameron; as of this point he is still writing the scripts for the second and third films from a farm in Wairarapa, New Zealand. Research and development is "firing on all cylinders".
- 26: Cameron announces that his sub, the Deepsea Challenger is being donated to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
- ↑ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/read-james-camerons-sworn-declaration-avatar-399979 James Cameron would have been in 11th grade in this period.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 http://www.scribd.com/doc/116315083/Cameron
- ↑ http://movieline.com/2009/12/15/stephen-lang-the-movieline-interview/
- ↑ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/read-james-camerons-sworn-declaration-avatar-399979
- ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 Capturing Avatar
- ↑ http://www.ugo.com/movies/avatar-spoilers
- ↑ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1228955/I-fight-robots-kill-aliens-kiss-beautiful-women-Avatars-Sam-Worthington-hits-big-time.html
- ↑ http://www.imdb.com/news/ni0220196/
- ↑ http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20007998_2,00.html
- ↑ http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1552588/20070215/story.jhtml
- ↑ http://firefox.org/news/articles/332/1/CCH-Pounder-on-039Avatar039/Page1.html
- ↑ http://uk.movies.ign.com/articles/784/784591p1.html
- ↑ http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117968709?refCatId=13
- ↑ http://uk.movies.ign.com/articles/807/807830p1.html
- ↑ http://www.imdb.com/news/ni0232828/
- ↑ http://www.aintitcool.com/node/34952 The letter on Harry Knowles website
- ↑ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/night_at_the_museum_2/news/1696700/avatar_pushed_back_night_at_the_museum_2_moved_up/
- ↑ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/avatar/news/1710344/james_cameron_gives_fans_an_avatar_update/
- ↑ http://www.aintitcool.com/node/38907
- ↑ http://www.imdb.com/news/ni0599874/
- ↑ http://www.moviesonline.ca/movienews_16149.html
- ↑ http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2009/05/james-cameron-avatar.html
- ↑ http://www.thewrap.com/deal-central/ind-column/avatars-effects-whiz-talks-shop-12326?page=0,1
- ↑ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/movies/news/a193033/avatar-sequels-to-take-place-off-pandora.html
- ↑ http://www.movieweb.com/news/avatar-reaches-700-million-worldwide-in-12-days
- ↑ Guiness Book of World Records 2011, page 159
- ↑ http://www.digitaltrends.com/entertainment/avatar-is-first-sci-fi-movie-to-pull-in-1b-usd-worldwide/
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 28.2 Guiness Book of World Records 2011, page 158
- ↑ http://www.danwei.org/tourism/hallelujah_mountain_in_real_li.php
- ↑ http://www.thehollywoodnews.com/2010/02/19/james-cameron-set-avatar-dvd-release-date-and-talks-about-planned-sequel/
- ↑ http://www.bafta.org/awards/film/film-awards-nominations,949,BA.html
- ↑ http://blog.moviefone.com/2010/04/15/navi-gate-your-way-to-this-interactive-avatar-exhibit/
- ↑ http://www.movieweb.com/news/exclusive-cch-pounders-queen-moat-returns-for-avatar-2
- ↑ http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2010/04/20/james-cameron-talks-the-enironment-the-avatar-sequel-and-more/
- ↑ http://www.earthday.org/avatar
- ↑ http://collider.com/avatar-breaks-dvd-and-blu-ray-records-by-selling-67-million-copies-in-first-four-days/23130/
- ↑ http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=4479
- ↑ http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=4594
- ↑ http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118021047?refCatId=14
- ↑ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Avatar-3D-Annual-2011/dp/1907602003
- ↑ http://mashable.com/2010/09/18/avatar-2-x-prize/
- ↑ http://fora.tv/2010/10/27/Filmmaker_James_Cameron_with_Google_CEO_Eric_Schmidt#Cameron_Announces_New_Technology_for_Avatar_Sequels
- ↑ http://blog.moviefone.com/2010/10/28/avatar-blu-ray-3d/
- ↑ http://collider.com/avatar-the-exhibition-james-cameron-seattle/63563/
- ↑ http://blog.moviefone.com/2010/12/18/avatar-2-sam-worthington
- ↑ http://www.dvdtown.com/news/the-avatar-home-tree-initiative-exceeds-its-goal/8334
- ↑ http://insidemovies.ew.com/2011/01/24/avatar-sequels-james-cameron/
- ↑ http://www.noblecollection.com/index.cfm?fa=products.product
- ↑ http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/01/31/james-cameron-explains-why-the-3d-experience-will-be-better-on-%E2%80%98avatar-2%E2%80%99/
- ↑ http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/games/james-cameron-says-games-will-drive-3d-adoption-wants-to-do-3d-avatar-mmorpg/
- ↑ http://www.empmuseum.org/exhibitions/index.asp?articleID=1550
- ↑ http://www.deadline.com/2011/08/james-camerons-lightstorm-hires-kathy-franklin-to-guide-avatar-brand/
- ↑ http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=81028#ixzz1UvTF0til
- ↑ http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=82282
- ↑ http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=23155
- ↑ http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/22/us-jamescameron-3dmovies-idUSTRE78L0HS20110922
- ↑ http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/james-cameron-avatar-details-14716421
- ↑ http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/dec/09/employee-sues-james-cameron-avatar
- ↑ 59.0 59.1 Court ruling document from the Morawaski case
- ↑ http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2012/03/30/james-cameron-avatar-sequels-to-draw-on-master-navigators/
- ↑ http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1676903/avatar-2-sam-worthington-underwater-filming.jhtml
- ↑ http://www.movieweb.com/news/avatar-2-release-pushed-to-2016-says-jon-landau
- ↑ http://www.torontosun.com/2012/01/26/cameron-faces-new-avatar-lawsuit
- ↑ http://marketsaw.blogspot.com/2012/03/james-cameron-completes-8-km-test-dive.html
- ↑ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17503395
- ↑ http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2012/03/30/james-cameron-avatar-sequels-to-draw-on-master-navigators/
- ↑ http://www.empireonline.com/news/feed.asp?NID=33583
- ↑ http://www.sfx.co.uk/2012/04/20/the-science-of-avatar-review/
- ↑ http://marketsaw.blogspot.de/2012/05/james-cameron-diving-into-avatar-2-3.html
- ↑ http://www.showbiz411.com/2012/06/26/james-cameron-will-film-three-avatar-sequels-at-the-same-time
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ofCaw30o_oo
- ↑ http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=9309
- ↑ http://www.empmuseum.org/exhibitions/index.asp?articleID=1550 The closure was scheduled for this date, and Avatar has since disapeared from the EMP website.
- ↑ http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1693478/james-cameron-avatar-4.jhtml
- ↑ http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2012/09/10/james-cameron-avatar-sequels-a-daunting-writing-task/
- ↑ http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/avatar-copyright-case-dismissed-judge-56831
- ↑ http://www.ifc.com/fix/2012/10/avatar-2-james-cameron-dileep-rao
- ↑ http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-12-06/travel/os-disney-staggs-avatar-cars-land-next-gen-20121206_1_avatar-land-cars-land-resorts-chairman-tom-staggs
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DO6_jKN-1hw
- ↑ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/read-james-camerons-sworn-declaration-avatar-399979
- ↑ http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/going-out/film/avatar-sets-blu-ray-record-with-one-1534510
- ↑ http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/movies/james-cameron-accused-over-avatar-screenplay/story-e6frfmvr-1226560758099
- ↑ http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/feb/06/james-cameron-wins-avatar-lawsuit
- ↑ http://lsc.org/see-whats-happening/upcoming-exhibitions/avatar/
- ↑ http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericsavitz/2013/02/11/reald-james-cameron-quits-board-focusing-on-avatar-2-3/
- ↑ http://marketsaw.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/exclusive-avatar-2-and-3-update-from.html#.UUpr41c7a1g
- ↑ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21929483