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James Cameron talks writing ‘Avatar’ sequels back to back

James Cameron talks writing ‘Avatar’ sequels back to back
Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Writers assemble!! Ever since the success of the first “Avatar” film in 2009, there was no doubt that a sequel would be in the mix. Director James Cameron has been talking about production on the sequels for some time but keeping the news under lock and key. Cameron’s plan is to film all three sequels back to back to back, but how will he pull this off? By assembling a team of writers to get the ball rolling.

Today, Superhero Hype reports that Cameron is finally opening up about writing all three scripts to “Avatar”. Some wondered how he would manage such a task and how much time the studio would give him? Last year, Cameron assembled a team of writers including Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds), Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planets of the Apes), and Shane Salerno (Savages, Salinger), and now Cameron opened up about his multiple projects at the Hero Complex Film festival.

"We tried an experiment. We set ourselves a challenge of writing three films at the same time. And I could certainly write any one of them but to write three in some reasonable amount of time – we wanted to shoot them together so we couldn’t start one until all three scripts were done and approved. So I knew I was going to have to 'parallel process' which meant I would have to work with other writers. And the best experience I had working with other writers was in television when I did Dark Angel. The television room is a highly collaborative, fun experience.”

Cameron also explains having a script per team and that team would be responsible for the particular story arc he had drafted for that film. Sounds like a pretty good plan.

"So we put together three teams, one for each script. The teams consist of me and another writer on each one of the three [films]. So I’m across all the films and then each one of them would have their own individual script they were responsible for. But what we did that was unique was we sat in the writing room for five months, eight hours a day, and we worked out every beat of the story across all three films so it all connects as one, sort of, three film saga. And I didn’t tell them which one was going to be theirs individually to write until the last day. So everyone was equally invested, story wise, in all three films.”

James Cameron has a pretty good game plan for the most highly anticipated sequel or sequels of all time. Although cast members are attached to the projects, how much time do they have to devote to film all three sequels. Avatar 2 is slated for a December 2016 release while the third and fourth installments are scheduled for release in 2017 and 2018. Do you think the world will be ready to see the blue villagers return to the big screen? Or did we already forget about them?