AVATAR Sequels Will Allow James Cameron to Express His Thoughts on the State of the World

     August 21, 2014

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We’re getting more Avatar in 2016, 2017 and 2018, so a few months of no Avatar talk is no big deal, but if Avatar 2 really is going into production later this year as James Cameron said about a year ago or even in early 2015 as Zoe Saldana recently suggested, news is bound to start picking up.

The last update came in early June and revealed that Sigourney Weaver was set to return for all three new films and now Cameron is speaking up about the timeline of those films and about his confidence in the stories that they’ll tell.  Hit the jump for more on the Avatar sequels.

avatar-james-cameronIn a Variety piece about the challenges Twentieth Century Fox chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos is facing, there’s a good deal of talk about the studio’s ambitious plans for the next three Avatar films.  Apparently, they’re going to cost a whopping $1 billion, which would break down to well over $300 million per film, but if those films do as well as the original, which wound up with $2.8 billion at the worldwide box office, why would a measly $1 billion matter?

Gianopulos noted:

“We know it’s not going to be cheap.  We know it’s not going to be without new discoveries and new challenges in the process of producing something that is so beyond the normal form of filmmaking and technology, but what could be more exciting than that.”

And Cameron insists that he’s putting those funds to good use by giving the sequels the time they deserve.  This isn’t some rapid-fire venture to make big money off the first film’s hype, but rather an opportunity to take their time and do it right while also using them as an outlet to comment on world affairs.  Cameron stated:

“There’s nothing I need to say as an artist about the state of the world and human affairs that I can’t do through the lens of the ‘Avatar’ universe.  We’ve had a couple of years to think through the story arc of the next three films, and every day that goes by, I believe in the stories I’m telling more and more.  We’re not coming out of the block fast to capitalize on the last film.”

To be honest, I liked Avatar, but not enough to be foaming at the mouth for three more films.  However, Cameron’s approach to them is rather intriguing.  Whereas most studios would pull the trigger on a sequel to a monumental hit as soon as possible, Cameron assembled a team of writers – Josh FriedmanRick Jaffa Amanda Silver and Shane Salerno – kept them in a writing room for five months so that they could figure out the details of all three films together and only then split them up to pen their respective scripts.

It’s certainly a different and more time-consuming way of approaching a film franchise, but it seems as though it could wind up giving us a particularly rich mythology that would stay intact throughout all three films.

We don’t have an official release date for Avatar 2 just yet, but it’s expected to hit theaters in December 2016 with Avatar 3 arriving in 2017 and then Avatar 4 coming right after in 2018.

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