Never bet against James Cameron. This much we know to be true. Whether it’s a Terminator sequel or a massively expensive epic called Titanic, Cameron consistently blows past naysayers to craft wildly popular films, and of course he’s the director behind the two highest grossing movies ever made. But it’s hard not to be skeptical about Cameron’s plan for making an additional four Avatar sequels. Not only are we nearly 10 years out from Cameron’s technologically groundbreaking original, but there aren’t exactly legions of Avatar fans the way that, say, Star Wars or Indiana Jones permeated the zeitgeist.
Cameron’s plans for the sequels have changed over the last eight years, but the current plan is this: four additional sequels which will shoot in two blocks, with Avatar 2 and 3 hitting theaters on December 18, 2020 and December 17, 2021 and then Avatar 4 and 5 opening December 20, 2024 and December 19, 2025. With Pandora now finally open at Walt Disney World, it sounds like production is finally about to get underway, and Sigourney Weaver tells EW that having read all four sequels, there’s no reason to doubt Cameron now:
“There’s a very good reason why it turned out to be four sequels. Having reread all four of them, I think they’re absolutely extraordinary and worth the wait.”
Weaver says she starts working on the sequels this summer:
“I love the way we’re doing them, we’re kind of doing 2 and 3 simultaneously and it’s going to work very well. A lot of the heavy lifting has already been done in 1, opening up the world and the characters and everything and I think that Jim has had a wonderful time writing these four, and it’s going to be very exciting bringing them to life.”
The actress is remaining mum about how, exactly, she’s returning since her character died in the first movie, but she does reveal that the sequels further the themes of environmentalism and corporatism gone awry from the first movie:
“These films are very much about the peril of this beautiful planet, and [Cameron] is continuing the same themes of greed and callousness of the corporations and plight of the indigenous people. At this point after a long and very satisfying career — I can’t believe it’s been 40 years, but anyway — I’m very excited to be able to work on these four stories.” She laughs. “I can really, really appreciate it.”
More Unobtainium! In all seriousness, as easy as it is to deride these sequels, I am really curious to see what Cameron puts together. Again, it’s been nearly a decade since the first movie, so whatever kind of technological magic trick he has up his sleeve this time is likely noteworthy. And I do think it’s smarter of 20th Century Fox to shoot the sequels in two blocks rather than all at once, so Cameron can adjust as needed once the first and second sequels get in front of audiences.
What say you, folks? Are you excited for more Avatar? Sound off in the comments below.