Writer/director James Cameron has helped change the landscape of the blockbuster going back to the 1980s with his landmark films Aliens and T2: Judgment Day changing the way we see studio sequels. With that in mind, Cameron is behind four massive sequels to his $2.7 billion hit, Avatar, and expectations couldn’t be higher.
The next installment is heading to theaters this December and Cameron is already hyping up the string of sequels while speaking to Empire Magazine. Stating that when he pitched the movies to 20th Century Fox, he imagined them as similar to the Lord of The Rings novels, but would have to write them first which sort of explains why he waited until he completed the four scripts before even shooting Avatar 2.
“What I said to the Fox regime at the time was, ‘I’ll do it, but we’ve got to play a larger game here. I don’t want to just do a movie and do a movie and do a movie. I want to tell a bigger story,” he explains. That meant a comparison with a certain literary saga. “I said, ‘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.”
“I had to think long and hard whether I even wanted to make another Avatar film because it was kind of ours to lose,” Cameron explains. “When you’ve done something that’s been that transcendent in terms of success, do you really want to go try and do that again? There’s a lot of pressure on it. I thought about it for a good two years before we finally made a deal.”
Hopefully, with all the time and energy put into the scripts, we will see much stronger writing with these sequels. The biggest critique of the first film was how thin the plot was and how it mirrored things like Dances With Wolves and the 1992 animated environmentalist film Ferngully: The Last Rainforest.
Some of the more interesting aspects of the sequel see Stephen Lang playing a Na’vi avatar of his dead character Colonel Quaritch and Sigourney Weaver playing a completely different role as she plays Kiri, the adoptive daughter of Sam Worthington’s Jake Sully, and Zoe Saldaña’s Neytiri.
Avatar: The Way of Water is set to be released by Disney on December 16.