The success of Avatar is misleading. Yes, it’s the highest grossing film of all-time, but it’s had no staying power in the cultural consciousness. It’s not a movie we continue to reference and promote. Other than the 3D, it didn’t spawn similar blockbuster sci-fi features. Part of that comes from the lack of an apparatus to keep pushing Avatar like TV shows, comics, etc. For that, I suppose we should be grateful that a blockbuster has been allowed to exist on its own terms, although that feeling is dampened somewhat by Avatar not being a particularly good movie.
Nevertheless, writer-director James Cameron has been working on three scripts for years, and now Cameron’s longtime composer James Horner says that the director wrote Avatar 5 as well. Speaking to HeyUGuys, Horner said:
He’s got four sequels script-wise, and he’s trying to make it into three. And I think that’s where the effort is going right now […] how do you keep it from expanding into a fifth movie?
We reported in January that the Avatar sequels had been pushed back a year so that Cameron could work more on the scripts, and while he said that he would be finished in about a month, it wouldn’t surprise if it’s taking longer and that time is being spend on condensing the scripts. It also doesn’t hurt that the longer Cameron waits, the more advanced the technology becomes, and Cameron loves his technology.
After Titanic and Avatar, I should know by now not to underestimate Cameron and the power of his movies to dominate at the box office. However, unless he finds another way to marvel audiences with groundbreaking advances in technology (his stories could probably remain average at best), I think he could be headed towards his first flop. And by “flop”, I mean it doesn’t make a billion dollars.