James Cameron offers an update on his Avatar sequel plans

James Cameron's Avatar (2009)

by James White |
Published on
James Cameron's Avatar (2009)

Last week, James Cameron made a surprise appearance at CinemaCon to announce that he had added another Avatar sequel to his workload, bringing the current total of follow-ups to the 2009 hit to four. Now talking to Famous Monsters Of Filmland, he's offered a little more granular detail on how the mammoth, concurrent shoot will work.

“It’s not back-to-back. It’s really all one big production," he says. "It’s more the way you would shoot a miniseries. So we’ll be shooting across all four 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.”

And he's got plans to expand his shooting schedule away from the all-CG methods he employed on the first film. Now, he's intending to incorporate some real elements. "On the new films, I’m actually going to shoot more real-world stuff. It may only be there as an example from which we then generate CG, or we may actually integrate some of those photographic elements. But I want more photography."

And he also clarifies why the first of the new movies is scheduled for 2018 and the rest for 2020, 2022 and 2023. It has a little something to do with the ever-expanding _Star War_s universe. “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," he laughs. "No, that’s just good business. I don’t want to go head-to-head with them. That would be stupid. And hopefully they won’t want to go head-to-head with us.” Silly rabbit... Doesn't he realise that we'll be seeing Star Wars films every year from now until probably the heat death of the universe? Still, no one ever made money betting against James Cameron...

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us