James Cameron Reveals AVATAR 4 Will Be a Prequel

     September 9, 2012


Jon Landau, a longtime collaborator with James Cameron, recently spoke about the progress of Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, but now we have an idea of what the fourth film will be.  From Cameron himself comes word that Avatar 4 will likely be a prequel that explores the colonization process of Pandora before the events of Avatar While the creative team is still working on the scripts for the two sequels, Cameron admits he has not yet put pen to paper for the prequel, but seems to have the kernel of an idea in mind.  Hit the jump to hear what he had to say.

Jon Landau James CameronIn a recent interview with MTV, Cameron revealed that Avatar 4 would be a prequel, saying:

“Because when we drop in, even in the first film in ‘Avatar 1,’ as it will be known in the future, we’re dropping into a process that’s 35 years in to a whole colonization.  That will complete an arc and if that leads into more, we’ll start, not imitating ’Star Wars,’ but it’s a logical thing to do because we’ll have completed the thematic arc by the end of three. The only thing left to do is go back to see what it was like on those first expeditions and create some new characters that then become legacy characters in later films. It’s a plan.”

You can hear what Cameron had to say in the video interview below or continue reading for more of the director’s choice quotes:

Cameron further expanded on what exactly the prequel would center on:

“I have an idea for a fourth. I haven’t really put pen to paper on it, but basically it goes back to the early expeditions of Pandora, and kind of what went wrong with the humans and the Na’vi and what that was like to be an explorer and living in that world.”

All well and good, but before we can see a fourth film, Cameron will have to shoot two and three.  He comments on the progress of the sequels as follows:

“We’ve spent two years refining the whole pipeline. It was a hideously complex process to make that film and a lot has been said about that, but we don’t want it to be done in the same prototypical way as the first one, we want it to be a much smoother workflow just for creativity reasons.”

And speaking of creativity, Cameron jokingly compares his writing process to that of Peter Jackson, saying:

“You know, Peter Jackson had it easy, he already had the books.  He had the books. Now if I had a time machine I could go forward and watch the movies and then come back, but I don’t!”


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  • Louis

    YES! I wanted a prequel a little more than a sequel.

  • Lance

    Well, that idea for a prequel feels…unnecessary. We already know from the first movie that things between the humans and the aliens go bad. So what is the point of a prequel movie where we already know the conclusion? If it’s just to see a younger version of the evil Colonel (“Oh, that’s how he got his scars!”) then I think most people will say, “No thanks, the series ended just fine with the third movie.”

    This is exactly the reason Prometheus isn’t a direct Alien prequel. Because all such a movie would have done is connect the dots. The movie we got is much more intriguing, if you’re open to the awesome possibilities of real science fiction, and not just a fan of lasercats going pew! pew! pew!

    • Alex

      Man, out of all the franchises Cameron could have expanded on why did he have to chose Avatar? I would have loved to have seen him do another Alien or Terminator movie.

      • Dave

        Yeah, it makes no sense to make a sequel to the highest grossing movie ever. What an idiot.

      • Brian

        “Man, out of all the franchises Cameron could have expanded on why did he have to chose Avatar? I would have loved to have seen him do another Alien or Terminator movie.”

        Well you have Ridley Scott doing his thing in the Alien universe and what’s his name trying to get Terminator going. Why would Cameron take those projects away from those people? As well you must not know much about the guy because he’s said on multiple occasions that he has moved creatively beyond those 2 franchises.

        All I can say is bring on more Jim and Pandora! Hell yeah.

  • Brady

    I actually love Avatar, but lets fuckin get on with a sequel here, lets be honest the script for the first one probably took about 2 days to write so lets fuckin go!

  • Ben

    Cameron’s gone of the deep end……

    • stove

      i might have to agree. Peter Jackson had it easy? Yeah, easy Mr. Cameron. Jackson just had to please a larger fan base than Star Wars, with fans more critical than the Comic Book Guy. The fact that Cameron isn’t operating on a level of mutual respect with his fellow director kinda paints himself as a giant dildo. Shouldn’t artists learn from each other without the need to put them selves on a pedestal above their fellow film makers? IF Cameron had a time machine, maybe he could have saved the Terminator franchise, or better yet, read the book based on the movie AVATAR, than copy it into script form, there by creating a paradox more confusing than the basic plot of T2 and solving his problem of having to write new stuff.

      • Ceridius

        The amount of dicks in hollywood makes it a challenge to work in for the people who aren’t dicks. But hey, barriers are there to be knocked down right? Or in this case, avoided carefully.

        Giant dildo? I don’t think that’s possible anymore in his mind. Maybe it was, a few decades ago. Every decision and comment he makes comes from a place of utter intelligence, creativity and wisdom that surpasses almost everyone if not everyone. I wish this was me exaggerating, but I’m sure his actual opinion of himself is even more impressive.

  • Dash867

    Easily going to be the highest grossing quadrilogy (yes, it’s a real word) of all time.

    • Rez

      TETRALOGY is actually the real word.

      Quadrilogy was incorrectly formed from quadri-, by analogy with trilogy, and probably through total ignorance of the word tetralogy. Just because it’s on an Alien boxed set does not make it an actual word!

      • tarek

        Quadrilogy is also correct.

        Anyway, Jim is reinventing the cinema, while Luca$ is regurgitating the same cabbage soup ad vitam aeternam.

  • Jeffrey

    This is how you create jobs in Hollywood! I wasn’t a huge fan of the first film, but I have high hopes for the sequels/prequels.

    • Alex

      @Jeffrey : Most of Avatar’s budget went to VFX firm WETA in New Zealand.

  • Charlie

    Yay! More Ferngully sequels starring the Thundersmurfs! This time he’s going to be using the scripts to Waterworld and The Postman instead of Dances With Wolves. So exciting! I can hardly wait!

    • BB

      @Charlie….really? so you are going to accuse James Cameron of using previous material. Yet, you idiot fanboys have been rehashing the same lame ferngully-dances with smurfs jokes for four years now…..and you still still think your humor is new and original, it’s not. Since are all stealing old material….please get out of your mom’s basement and write your own original script, or at least some new Avatard jokes….please, IT”S SO OLD, older than that un-used condom in your wallet.

      • cap

        I always found that the whole “your mom’s basement” routine completely disregards all the people that live in apartment buildings. What about them? THEY HAVE NO BASEMENTS!

  • Bill

    Wasn’t Cameron writing an AVATR novel that told this story? Sounds like Cameron realized people want to SEE Pandora more than READ about Pandora. I love Avatar but the world of Pandora is not all that complex or original, making for unenlightening reading. Now visually Cameron can make it sing.

  • -

    Am I the only one that doesn’t even want one more Avatar film, let alone three? The original was good, but not 2.8 billion dollars good.

    • SPE

      Then don’t go see the sequels. It’s the highest grossing movie ever and it’s terrible. So, send a message to the studio by not going to see the movie.

      I’m not a fan of Avatar at all but it’s a solid business decision to make a sequel. If you don’t like it, just don’t go see it and make sure others don’t go too.

      Otherwise, we’ll be here talking about Avatar 5 soon.

      • HumanityHater

        Avatar was not terrible, not even close. It WAS derivative, it was a story that has been told too many times, being told again. The actual story is pretty compelling, which is why it has been told so many times. The problem is it completely worn thin by the time Avatar came around. But it was presented in a fascinating way in an interesting science fiction setting. It certainly isn’t my favorite James Cameron film, but Avatar isn’t fucking Transformers 1, 2, or 3, all garbage films with no attempt at story, all of which received the critical lashing they deserved. Avatar got good reviews.

        So many people jumped onboard the ‘its horrible, it has no story’ band wagon because the critics, even those that liked it, pointed out its derivative nature.

    • Stef

      You are not alone dude. This is stupid! Means we have at least 3 more Avatar films for Cameron to try and shove 3D down out throats.

  • Anonymous

    Cameron should go to his doctor… and even better… consult a psychiatrist.

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  • Sanette

    Great. Can’t wait for a prequel to Pocahontas. Cameron is even worse than Michael Bay.

  • Stef

    Fuck Off Cameron!

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  • spongefist

    How can you make a movie that is four times as shit as the shittiest movie of all time…. now that is truly incredible unlike the blue bumblemonkey bullshit torture that was the first.

  • Dogdirt

    Avatar 2 synopsis: The fairies of FernGully – I mean the “Na’vi” of Pandora – must venture outside the rain forest to rescue several young native humanoids who were captured by poachers. On the way out of the forest, the evil poachers manage to burn the forest down. Now, busy with regrowing trees, FernSully puts the fetching of the Na’vi job on the shoulders of Mey’notri and his gang, along with Tsu’tey. On their quest Mey’notri meets a pre-teen girl on the gas planet Polyphemus called Moot, daughter of mother goddess Eywa, where she helps him out to save the baby Na’vi from even more clichés. It’ll be called Avatar 2: The Magical Rescue.

    • Charlie

      I heard this is the plot for the third one:
      Due to the evil human’s space ships not being carbon neutral, Pandora’s polar ice caps have melted and most of Pandora is underwater, Sully fights starvation and outlaw “smokers,” and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land. Awesome!

  • tarek

    Avatar 3D was the best cinema experience since LOTR ( and Aliens before it).
    So I am eager to see the sequels (in 3d). And I am sure they will be more enthralling than the first one, in term of storytelling. The first one had a very simple narrative, because it was addressing a large audience, for an obvious purpose.

    Go go go Jim!

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  • Archaic

    I wrote a fanfic script for Avatar2 and 3, there is a lot of hinting about the early day’s of Hell’s Gate in there, like it had a different name in the early day’s.
    You don’t think?

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  • Isaac

    James Cameron said that the fourth one will be a sequel now instead of a prequel.