Though filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are widely considered some of the most popular directors of all time, James Cameron has the distinct honor of directing the two highest grossing films ever made in addition to helming films in two other incredibly successful (and ongoing) franchises. Fans had to wait over a decade for the follow-up to Cameron’s mega-hit Titanic, the performance-capture-heavy Avatar, and we’re currently in another waiting stage as we prepare for the long-promised Avatar sequels.
Cameron is deep in pre-production on Avatar 2, 3, and 4 right now with production set to get underway on all three films simultaneously later this year, but he recently took some time out of his schedule to participate in a fascinating and characteristically candid Reddit AMA in support of his upcoming Showtime docu-series Years of Living Dangerously. In the lengthy AMA, the director discussed the status of the Avatar sequels, his initial plan for Alien 5, his thoughts on Prometheus and the Terminator reboot, the status of Battle Angel, what he thought about Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and even his South Park “appearance”. We’ve compiled some of the more interesting highlights after the jump.
In the ensuing years since the release of Avatar—the highest grossing film of all time—we’ve been privy to plenty of “updates” on the status of the sequels from folks tied to the production, and director James Cameron has now offered up yet another. As Fox has now finally set December 2016, 2017, and 2018 release dates for the three upcoming Avatar sequels, this update comes backed by the fact that the films are really, truly, actually coming, and Cameron seems to be in a solid place with regards to planning. The filmmaker says they’re developing the software while he works on the scripts and designs all the new creatures and environments, and he added that he hasn’t decided whether he will shoot all or just some of the film in High Frame Rate like Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. Hit the jump to read on.
Though there wasn’t really any concern about them not coming back, Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana have now officially solidified their deals to star in all three of the upcoming Avatar sequels. Heat Vision confirms that Worthington and Saldana will be reprising their roles as Jake Sully and Neytiri, and while plot details for this trio of films are under wraps, the report notes that Sully and Neytiri will have children. The first actor to sign on for all three films was Stephen Lang, and the announcement of his casting took away any stakes we had with regards to his character surviving or dying in the next two movies.
Director James Cameron is co-writing Avatar 2, 3, and 4 with Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and Shane Salerno, respectively. We know that filming will take place entirely in New Zealand, and Cameron plans on shooting all three pics at once when production gets underway later this year. Avatar 2 is finally slated for release December 2016, with the other two films following in December 2017 and 2018.
Last night, we reported that James Cameron would shoot all three Avatar sequels over the course of nine months in New Zealand. Today, he’s provided some new information about the plot for the upcoming trilogy. Story details have been scarce, especially since the sequels were expanded to three movies as opposed to just two. When it was just Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, the sequels were reportedly about wrapping up the relationship between Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). While that may still be part of the plan even with another film in the mix, Cameron has revealed some lofty aspirations for how he plans to explore Pandora and expand Jake’s story.
Hit the jump for more. Filming is expected to begin in October 2014. The Avatar sequels will come out at the pace of one film every December starting in December 2016.
New Zealand’s small army of proficient film crews have been working on The Hobbit, and now it appears they’ll have another mammoth trilogy to tackle. James Cameron has issued a statement that he plans to shoot Avatar 2, Avatar 3, and Avatar 4 in New Zealand. According to The Wrap, the three sequels will be shot at the same time, and “perhaps over a period of about nine months.” Obviously, this is great news for the small country as Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said in a statement, “The Avatar sequels will provide hundreds of jobs and thousands of hours of work directly in the screen sector as well as jobs right across the economy.”
Of course, this works to 20th Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment’s benefit as well. The Wrap reports, “New Zealand’s government has agreed to a 25 percent financial rebate, up from the current 15 percent,” and Cameron expects the budget on all three sequels to come in beneath $1 billion, which is surprising when you consider that the first film was reported to have cost $500 million. Avatar 2 is set for December 2016 followed by Avatar 3 in December 2017 and then Avatar 4 in December 2018.
Stephen Lang‘s performance as Colonel Quaritch was one of the best things about Avatar. Of course, like most villains in standard adventure movies, he met his demise in a grandiose fashion. In this case, it was taking three huge arrows to the chest after losing a mech battle to Jake Sully (Sam Worthington). But for director James Cameron, such a brutal death shouldn’t mean the end of the delightful character.
Hit the jump for more. Avatar 2 will begin filming this October for December 2016 (set your calendars now!) with two more sequels to follow.
Director James Cameron has been promising follow-ups to his 2009 film Avatar since shortly after the first pic entered theaters and started breaking box office records. In true Cameron fashion, the filmmaker has taken his time in crafting the sequels. We finally got a (hopefully) firm timetable earlier this year, when 20th Century Fox announced that the Avatar trilogy had been expanded to three sequels, with Avatar 2 opening in theaters December 2016. Now Sam Worthington has provided yet another update on when filming might begin, offering a few other details in the process. Hit the jump for more.
The Avatar series recently expanded to a quadrilogy plus four novels. First things first: Avatar 2 is scheduled for December 2016, but it’s never too early to throw ourselves headfirst into the gray ether of the rumor mill. Sources tell Latino Review that Arnold Schwarzenegger will play a “bad guy human general.” It makes enough sense. Schwarzenegger and Cameron made Terminator, Terminator 2, and True Lies together, and could be looking to reunite. The evil military man follows from Stephen Lang‘s villain in the first movie, Colonel Quaritch. Schwarzenegger’s may be the right actor to portray the escalating human threat.
Yet it feels like a stretch. Cameron built an immersive fantasy universe in Avatar free from distracting big-name stars (all due respect to Sigourney Weaver). Casting Schwarzenegger takes the sequels in a different direction. I trust Cameron, so if he wants to cast Schwarzenegger, I can’t wait to see how he does it. In three years. We’ll keep you busy with plenty more rumors in the next 39 months. Hit the jump for more on the sequels.
Yesterday we got a bit of an update on the long-promised sequels to writer/director James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar, but it turns out there’s much more to the story. Cameron has been working on two follow-up films to the sci-fi pic over the last four years, with an eye towards filming both Avatar 2 and 3 at the same time and then releasing the sequels a year apart. While last we heard Cameron was holed up in New Zealand finalizing the scripts for the sequels, news broke yesterday that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles creator Josh Friedman had been enlisted to pitch in on the screenplay for Avatar 2. It just so happens that this was only one third of the story, as Fox announced today that Cameron has actually enlisted the help of four screenwriters to collaborate with him on the screenplays for not only Avatar 2 and 3, but also Avatar 4, with the first sequel poised to hit theaters (finally) in December 2016. Hit the jump for much more.
Slowly but surely, development on the Avatar sequels continues to progress. While James Cameron‘s past filmography tells us that the filmmaker will take as long as he pleases in between projects, we’ve seen numerous deadlines come and go for when Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 are expected to begin filming and finally hit theaters. The most recent timeline has Zoe Saldana saying that she thinks production will finally begin in early 2014, and while Cameron has been hard at work on the screenplays for the past few years, it appears that he’s enlisting a little help to get the script for Avatar 2 in tip-top shape before production (hopefully) gets underway. Hit the jump for more.
Although Sam Worthington believes James Cameron will begin shooting Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 when the writer-director is good and ready, co-star Zoe Saldana believes that time will be early next year. Back in March, Cameron said he was building momentum on the scripts for the films, which will be shot back-to-back and include underwater motion-capture technology. Saldana also confirmed on the Jonathan Ross Show [via DigitalSpy] they’ll be shooting the sequels back-to-back because “if we just do two and then wait, I’ll probably be 45 or 50 by the time we get to part three. It takes a long time, it’s a very hard process.” She also doesn’t believe Avatar 2 will be released until 2015.
Before going off to Romania to shoot his next film, The Keeping Room, about a Civil War soldier who has broken off from the Union Army encounters a group of women who have been left to fend for themselves, Collider got the opportunity to chat with actor Sam Worthington about the surf drama Drift, which is available on demand July 2nd and in theaters everywhere August 2nd.
While we will post what he had to say about that film in June, we did want to share what he had to say about some of his other upcoming projects. During the interview, he talked about how different his character in The Keeping Room is, how working with director David Ayer on the action thriller Ten was the best experience, what it was like to work with someone as iconic as Arnold Schwarzenegger, that James Cameron will start shooting the Avatar sequels whenever he’s ready, and how he doesn’t think there will be a third Clash of the Titans films. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
James Cameron is building momentum on writing the scripts for Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, and while he hasn’t quite cracked the story yet, he knows that some of the second film will take place underwater. While it’s possible to shoot dry-for-wet, it’s not entirely convincing, and as we all know, Cameron loves a technological challenge. Speaking to the NAB Technology Summit on Cinema [via Empire], Avatar producer Jon Landau revealed that “We have kept a team of digital artists on from Avatar in order to test how we can create performance capture underwater. We could simulate water [in CG], but we can’t simulate the actor’s experience, so we are going to capture performance in a tank.”
Landau didn’t provide any further details on the development of that process, but did add that Avatar 2 and 3, which will shoot back-to-back, will wrap up the story of Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). This falls in line with Cameron’s comments from last September where he said he wanted a fourth Avatar movie, but it would be a prequel.
Last November, James Cameron said he hoped to have the scripts for Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 finished by February, and planned to shoot later this year. February has now come and gone, and Cameron is still at work on getting back into the world of Pandora. But not to worry, Avatar fans. Cameron is still plugging away at the sequels, and he’s close to reaching the point where the story begins to write itself.
Hit the jump for more.
At yesterday’s New York City press day for The Hobbit, I was able to sit down with Weta Digital’s Sr. Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Letteri for an extended video interview. While Weta is currently hard at work on the next two Hobbit films, they’re also working on a few other high profile projects. Towards the end of our interview, I got a few updates on Weta’s work for Man of Steel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Wolverine, Iron Man 3, and the Avatar sequels. As you might imagine, the updates on the projects are focused on the visual effects, but if you’re a movie nerd like me, it’s always cool to hear how they’re working to make the effects look even better and what scenes Weta is working on. Hit the jump to watch.