During CinemaCon last week, director James Cameron gave a few updates on his planned sequels for Avatar. Initially, there was only going to be three more sequels, set to release a year apart from one another. Those plans have changed a bit, Cameron says that there will now be four sequels, not three, and the release dates have been set for them all.
Talking to Famous Monsters of Filmland, James Cameron says that all four sequels will be shot as one large film. It appears as though 20th Century Fox will be taking a huge risk by doubling down on Cameron’s big Avatar saga. Cameron says:
“It’s not back-to-back. It’s really all one big production. It’s more the way you would shoot a miniseries. So we’ll be shooting across all [Avatar scripts] simultaneously. So Monday I might be doing a scene from Movie Four, and Tuesday I’m doing a scene from Movie One. … We’re working across, essentially, eight hours of story. It’s going to be a big challenge to keep it all fixed in our minds, exactly where we are, across that story arc at any given point. It’s going to be probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I’m sure the actors will be challenged by that as well. It’s like, ‘No, no, no, no, this person hasn’t died yet, so you’re still in this phase of your life.’ It’s a saga. It’s like doing all three Godfather films at the same time.”
Avatar 2 has had some hiccups. Originally slotted for a December 2017 release date, it is clear that the film will not hit its target. The big reason for this is that a fourth sequel has been added to the schedule. Cameron jokes that he didn’t want to fight Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII over revenue for the same weekend. This is why he designed the release schedule around Star Wars:
“My original plan was to release them a year apart, but we’re opening that up. If for no other reason than that I don’t want to land on the same date as one of the Star Wars sequels. That wouldn’t be fair to them. [Laughs.] No, that’s just good business. I don’t want to go head-to-head with Star Wars. That would be stupid. And hopefully they won’t want to go head to head with us.”
Avatar 2 will hit theaters in December 2018, with each sequel hitting theaters every two years after.
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