We’ve been long waiting for an update on 2009’s Avatar film. No, not The Last Airbender but James Cameron‘s science fiction space opera that he was working on for many years. It’s been over ten years and the ambitious director teased that he’s not only working on one but four sequels of the original. The brand is now under the Disney umbrella after they purchased 20th Century Fox. After a long bout of silence, Cameron has finally opened up on the sequel and even offered some insight into the upcoming projects.
It sounds kind of nuts, the process. I mean, if Avatar hadn’t made so much damn money, we’d never do this — because it’s kind of crazyJames Cameron
While we still don’t have an official title, the story of the first sequel will take place 14 years after the original. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), in his new homegrown Na’vi body, has settled down with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and has started a family. The film this time around will be less bout them but their children. Producer Jon Landau shared that family will be at the heart of these sequels moving forward:
Ultimately, the sequels are a story about family, and the lengths parents will go through to keep that family together and keep them safe. I always say that Jim’s movies have universal themes — and really, there’s no more universal theme than familyJim Landau
The long-held rumors are true as the first two entries will focus on the ocean and introduce a clan of reef-dwelling Na’vi, who goes by the name Metkayina. The Titanic director is well known for his work in ocean conservation. So, he wanted to combine his love of filmmaking and exploring the ocean into one project. The reason production took so long was that their performance-capture technology wouldn’t work underwater, which they had to adapt.
Production has wrapped on the first two entries of the franchise with Avatar 3 heading for a 2024 release. The reasoning it’s still planned to release this late is due to the focus on giving Weta enough time to bring the effects to life. The last two entires won’t release until 2026 and 2028 respectively.
What we are doing now, from a story standpoint and a world standpoint, is on a much larger scale. That’s both exciting and challenging. We are putting much more detail, first and foremost, into the performances of the cast, but we’re [also] putting much more detail and diversity into the world that we are creating.Jim Landau
Cameron has shared his fear that the films may not make the money he hopes they will, especially with how much money they’ll cost to make. Yet, 20th Century Fox and subsequently Disney have put a lot of trust into the director to bring four high-budget sequels together. Avatar was surpassed by Avengers: Endgame as the highest-earning film of all time only to take it back with a China re-release. It’ll be interesting to see if the wait was well worth it for everyone involved.
Source: Entertainment Weekly