Once upon a time, there was a film called "Avatar" and it was directed by James Cameron; a director who hadn't directed a feature film in 12 years. "Avatar" would introduce new special effects and technology for filmmaking and go on to become the highest grossing film of all time. For the next 50 years (or thereabouts), Cameron as well as everyone behind the scenes would discuss a sequel, a new trilogy, an energy drink, a broadway musical, and finally a "Celebrity Deathmath" episode with "The Smurfs" without ever following through with any of it. Striking while the iron is hot just isn't as important anymore. As theatergoers tried to cope without a return visit to Pandora, talk continued to revolve around potential "Avatar" escapades. Also, Sam Worthington began running out of things to do. Can somebody please give him a button to push or something?
When a film makes this kind of money, especially in today's world, it's not a question of whether or not that film will get a sequel. It's only a question of when. Well that and, "So it's just one sequel then? Oh, now it's two? So you're telling me we're getting three 'Avatar' sequels?" Sequels to "Avatar" have been talked about since the film's release back in 2009, but it just wasn't the time. Cameron had to secure funding, which he's done for the next three films, and polish up the script for each film (he's said in the past that he doesn't want the sequel to end like "The Matrix Reloaded.") It's not that Cameron's approach doesn't make sense, but it makes you wonder if these sequels can be as successful as the original film, especially after waiting so long to capitalize on a huge cash cow. Who cares about five-mile-deep solo dives where you discover new underwater species or contributing to the resolve of that massive oil spill back in 2010 when you could be churning out a dozen "Avatar" films?
- As Sigourney Weaver confirmed last year, three more "Avatar" films will be filmed simultaneously. "Avatar 2" is set for December of 2016, "Avatar 3" will see release in December of 2017, and "Avatar 4" will finalize the franchise in December of 2018.
- Fox is taking an approach similar to "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and is following the pattern Peter Jackson used for filming and release schedule.
- Josh Friedman ("Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles") was hired to help write the script for "Avatar 2" while Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver ("Rise of the Planet of the Apes") and Shane Salerno ("Savages") were added to the writing team to help flesh out the next three "Avatar" sequels.
- Cameron has said in the past that he'll devote the rest of his film career to nothing but "Avatar," but he's still expected to come back around to his live-action adaptation of the futuristic manga/anime "Battle Angel" and his production company secured the rights to Taylor Stevens novel "The Informationist," which Cameron is also expected to direct at some point.
- The plan is still for "Avatar 2" to go underwater, but the question remains whether Cameron has found a way to master underwater motion capture. This could be why "Avatar 2" was pushed to 2016 to give Cameron more time to develop the technology.
- Cameron has always imagined a trilogy of "Avatar" films with the two sequels completing a three-film story arc. While a fourth has been rumored to be a prequel, another question that's been thrown on the table is whether or not a fourth film was Cameron's decision or if Fox suckered him into it. Since co-star Sigourney Weaver and producer Jon Landau both confirmed a fourth film around this time last year, it's safe to say it's all part of James Cameron's plan.
"Avatar" utilized breakthrough 3D technology that had yet to be used in film. It was absolutely beautiful to look at, but many believed that's where the film's impressive repertoire began and ended. The story seems to pull audiences in opposing directions with the side who thinks the writing was like being clobbered in the face repeatedly with an ACME anvil getting the slight advantage. So will the "Avatar" sequels completely redesign 3D technology again? It's difficult to say, but it certainly seems like Cameron is giving his all into developing everything he possibly can since the gap between the first and second "Avatar" films will total seven years once 2016 rolls around.
Do audiences want to sit through another three visits to Pandora that will total close to eight hours (if we assume the three films will have a runtime similar to the first film), though? The "Avatar" sequel trilogy is a bold move for those reasons alone. It seems like overkill and a huge gamble that may or may not pay off.
Sources: screenrant.com, james-camerons-avatar.wikia.com, freemovietag.com, filmjunkies.de, johnlinkmovies.com, businessinsider.com, fullhalloween.com, hdwallpapers.in