Signing up to direct four sequels to the hit Avatar must be a daunting task for James Cameron and while there has been “some” work done on Avatar 4 (spill over from the Avatar 3 shoot), it hasn’t been completed and during a new chat with Empire Magazine, the filmmaker might end up pivoting to other things instead of doing the next two Avatar films or beyond the fifth installment.
“The Avatar films themselves are kind of all-consuming,” Cameron admits to Empire. “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.”
Cameron also mentioned what is happening with the later installments.
“Everything I need to say about family, about sustainability, about climate, about the natural world, the themes that are important to me in real life and in my cinematic life, I can say on this canvas,” he explains. “I got more excited as I went along. Movie four is a corker. It’s a motherfucker. I actually hope I get to make it. But it depends on market forces. Three is in the can so it’s coming out regardless. I really hope that we get to make four and five because it’s one big story, ultimately.”
This wouldn’t be the first time that Cameron would have stepped aside to let someone else direct one of his projects. He had been originally developing Alita: Battle Angel as the first in a trilogy of films Cameron would direct based on the manga/anime, but to focus on his Avatar sequels he enlisted the help of Robert Rodriguez instead.
It’s unknown what those other things will be, however, he has been sharing a bunch of artwork of his unmade epic sci-fi film Xenogenesis, which had been turned into a short film and has been taking elements from for all sorts of movies such as Terminator 1-2 and Avatar.
Avatar: The Way of Water and Avatar 3 have completed their shoots but when Avatar 4/Avatar 5 begins is a little unclear given their massive budgets.
Could he ask Rodriguez to help with the next two Avatar films after tackling Alita, The Mandalorian, and The Book of Boba Fett? That remains to be seen but he seemingly does have a foot in the door already.