AVATAR 2 & 3 Next Up for James Cameron; Set for December 2014 & 2015 Release

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Despite recent reports that James Cameron was gearing up for a Cleopatra biopic based on Stacy Schiff’s Cleopatra: A Life with Angelina Jolie in the role of the Queen of the Nile, it has just broke that he has agreed to shoot Avatar 2 and 3 beginning in late 2011 for Twentieth Century Fox, immediately after he wraps up the screenplays, which he intends to write in early 2011 with an eye towards beginning production later that year.

In our first trip to Pandora, we saw ex-marine and paraplegic Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington) integrate himself into the primitive culture of the planet’s blue, tree-dwelling Na’vi and defend their tribal grounds from a mercenary-assisted corporation.  The sequels, undoubtedly to be shot natively with the 3D tech developed by Cameron and WETA Digital, are targeted for December 2014 and December 2015 release dates, respectively. Whether the productions will be back-to-back is pending.

Hit the jump for what Cameron and producer Jon Landau had to say on the sequels and a possible explanation as to why Cameron dumped Cleopatra.

Producer Jon Landau reiterated this about the pool of ideas Cameron can pull from (via Deadline):

“It is very exciting to be teaming again with our partners at Fox to give audiences the opportunity to return to Pandora. With the first movie, Jim only scratched the surface of the stories he wants to tell and the creatures and world he wants to create. Now we will continue his vision.”

Here are Cameron’s thoughts on his two-film commitment:

“It is a rare and remarkable opportunity when a filmmaker gets to build a fantasy world, and watch it grow, with the resources and partnership of a global media company. AVATAR was conceived as an epic work of fantasy – a world that audiences could visit, across all media platforms, and this moment marks the launch of the next phase of that world. With two new films on the drawing boards, my company and I are embarking on an epic journey with our partners at Twentieth Century Fox. Our goal is to meet and exceed the global audience’s expectations for the richness of AVATAR’s visual world and the power of the storytelling. In the second and third films, which will be self contained stories that also fulfill a greater story arc, we will not back off the throttle of AVATAR’s visual and emotional horsepower, and will continue to explore its themes and characters, which touched the hearts of audiences in all cultures around the world. I’m looking forward to returning to Pandora, a world where our imaginations can run wild.”

Just last week, Cameron, always the politician, had this to say about an Avatar sequel:

“I wouldn’t say it’s inevitable because we still haven’t worked out our deal with 20th Century Fox. So we’re still in an ongoing negotiation on that. Because it’s a big piece of business, and I’m trying to map it out as a game plan that stretches forward 10 years. And they don’t like to think that long term. We’ll get it worked out, probably.”

What was Fox’s deal breaker? According to Deadline, it was a hefty, generous donation to Cameron’s environmental protection fund. That said, news of these prioritized sequels should hardly come as a bombshell, what with Avatar’s $2.9 billion worldwide box office–the highest gross of all-time–and its nine Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Director.

So what do you want to see in an Avatar sequel?  Sound off in the comments section.

(via Deadline)



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  • Tonym816

    Dont mess this up Cameron. Avatar was perfect, dont ruin it.

  • loudwhisper

    Dang, why so far away? No matter, they’ll be the best films those years.

    Looooooooong wait, though……. Ugh :/

  • http://www.3rdillusion.com wrecks

    Very cool. I had zero interest in the Cleopatra project. He’s been living and breathing Pandora so long that it seemed rather silly for him to not immediately continue his travels there.

  • Wswanson13

    I guess that means Battle Angel won’t happen for nearly a decade?

    • http://senzafineonline.net/ Yahzee

      damn… you’re right >.<

  • Arnold

    Cool, absolutely looking forward to it, hope Cameron would make more avatar sequels and make them bigger and better, and also come back to terminator sequels, at least as the story consultant….:))

  • stewie

    I am so glad they shelved CLEOPATRA. Although Cameron would be the only one to make it interesting its best this movie is dead for now. He would have come up with some crazy set pieces and I am positive the aesthetic of the movie would have been great. That said the idea of CLEOPATRA seemed boring, especailly with Jolie. Last time I checked Jolie is pretty fair skinned and would be a forced choice to play someone who was damn near black in appearance.
    I keep geting visions of Jolie and her HORRIBLE Russian accent in ALEXANDER!! I shudder when I think of that movie.

    As far as Avatar goes, I hardly think it was a “PERFECT” movie like I have heard people say in here. It was good but also long and drawn out. I hope the subsequent sequels will be more alive with action and a GOOD story not the rehashed Pocahontas storyline of the first.

    I am pumped for this movie but I think it has potential to be a great movie and a great flop. Now that the fascination with the technology has worn off I think the critics will be brutally honest with these concurrent movies.

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    Give us a satisfying and fleshed out story for whoever the main character is this time. Populate it with characters who are complex, nuanced, appealing and relevant to the central story problem. Now that the initial overwhelming nature of the visuals and alien landscape have mostly washed over audiences — people bought into it all — give us a less simple storyline with less simplistic characters. That’s all I want. :)

    I know Cameron can write beautifully at times, but his last couple of films have settled on archetypal characters and well-tread stories to build beautiful moments and visuals on. I’d like some of that meaty character back a la Aliens and the Abyss, and ambitious storytelling like in the original Terminator.

  • Dogg

    Have someone else write the damn thing.

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  • http://senzafineonline.net/ Yahzee

    GREAT NEWS! This and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES have made my day ^^

  • http://thesilvermirror.wordpress.com James Treakle

    Say what you will about ‘Avatar’ — and I don’t really like it that much — but James Cameron is still a pretty solid writer. I have hope. If he can give us an equivalent to ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ in this trilogy, film will never be the same.

  • John Turner

    Cameron’s backstory for Avatar was published almost a year ago and details a number of useful elements for the next two movies:

    – Pandora is not the only habitable moon of Polyphemus for example; there are two more with oxygen atmospheres.

    – There are two more starships committed and en route to Pandora, due to arrive at two-year intervals, each with a one-third rotation of base staff aboard as well as a few fresh Avatars and their drivers.

    – There are Faster Than Light Quantum Radios in use, though we don’t see them in the first film. These allow Pandora to report its status instantaneously to Earth, and Earth to send new orders instantly to the inbound ships. They also allow the Hells Gate partisans to secretly communicate with supporters on Earth and Earth to negotiate with the partisans over the company channel.

    – Pandora’s uneven and intense magnetic field interacts with intense radiation belts and “flux tubes” surrounding Polyphemus to randomly burn its surface with flashes of lethal radiation. Yowch!

    – Four words: giant electric flying jellyfish. Fear them.

  • Aromcath

    In all fairness this was to be expected, not just out of a demand of business on FOX’s behalf, but given Cameron’s specifically stated he planned this thing to last multiple films. And while I’m not left with a bad taste from the initial story pith, I guess what we should be calling the first movie at this point, I will say I do have concerns that if not address will be some of the major bullet wounds for going around another two turns.

    • Karik

      I’m not easily irmepssed. . . but that’s impressing me! :)

  • Army1601

    Thts brilliant news, he has all the time to get the right story and writing for these movies. Looking at Cameron’s track record for sequels (with the exception of that Pirahna movie) hes been really good with them, so he should have no trouble topping Avatar!

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  • FlyingHippo

    I predict the story for the sequels to be something like this:

    Neytiri goes to Earth as a diplomat to stop a potential attack upon her people being ordered by RDA Corporation in a plot by Parker Selfridge. There, she is accompanied by a marine rookie, whos job is to escort and provide her safety, and slowly develops a romance with him. In the end, she is reunited with Jake Sully, but explains to him that they are no longer following the same path that they went on years ago”, and parts ways with him. Successfully exposing Parker Selfridge, who is then arrested by order of RDA Corporation, Neytiri and marine rookie get on a spaceship going back to Pandora together, and kiss as the spaceship flys off into the sunset.

  • technocore

    And thats why cameron is writing the script & not u ;) lola

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