The highly-anticipated Avatar sequel will release in December 2022 and three more are expected to follow, but James Cameron may not be at the helm.
James Cameron was already a huge name before the release of Avatar in 2009. The artist directed Terminator in 1984, and epic romance disaster Titanic in 1997.
He is credited for leading the popularity of 3D films given the success of Avatar, which remains the highest-grossing film to date at $2.8 billion. His commitment to utilising ground-breaking visual effects was evident as production was supposed to take place after Titanic, but the necessary technology was not yet available to achieve his artistic goal.
The same dilemma applied to Avatar 2; he wanted to perfect underwater filming technology, as evident in the trailer.
James Cameron compared Avatar to Lord Of The Rings
The Aliens director already has the complete world of Pandora planned. He agreed to bring his fantasy to life only if he could “tell a bigger story”. A project of this size and detail can only be compared to the likes of The Lord Of The Rings or Harry Potter, but the catch for Cameron was that he had no book to reference.
“Imagine a series of novels like The Lord Of The Rings existed, and we’re adapting them. Now, that was great in theory, but then I had to go create the frickin’ novels from which to adapt it,” he explained to Empire.
Avatar 3 is rumoured to release in 2024, with back-to-back filming after the second instalment. Discussion about the fourth and fifth claims filming will occur together further down the line. It’s safe to safe that Cameron can consider himself an author.
“I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over”
Despite the epic sci-fi being his vision, Cameron may not be bringing Avatar to a conclusion over the next eight years.
“The Avatar films themselves are kind of all-consuming,” Cameron admitted.
“I’ve got some other things I’m developing as well that are exciting. I think eventually over time – I don’t know if that’s after three or after four – I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over, so I can go do some other stuff that I’m also interested in. Or maybe not. I don’t know.”
If so, this wouldn’t be the first time he hands his screenplay to another director. Alita: Battle Angel was in the works since the early 2000s, though it was eventually passed to Robert Rodriguez. Cameron served as executive producer instead.
Avatar: The Way Of Water hits cinemas 16 December 2022.