Prolific director James Cameron made a special appearance this week at CinemaCon to discuss his plans for the future of the Avatar franchise. After a whopping 9 years since the momentous release of the first film, which broke countless box office records and put 3D filmmaking on the map, Cameron’s Avatar 2 is approaching release in 2018.
At the film expo, the director revealed that he has a much bigger vision for the Avatar universe than just a second film (or the previously announced 3 sequels). In fact, he is planning on making FOUR sequels. These films are also already locked in to be released during the Christmas season in 2020, 2022, and 2023.
Cameron has always been known for pushing the envelope on what audiences come to expect from “blockbuster” movies. He did it with Aliens in 1986 – the sequel to 1979’s Alien and a superior film to most fans of the franchise. He did it again with the box office giant Titanic in 1997, and with the Terminator series. The original Avatar went above and beyond expectations, making it a worldwide phenomenon. Since its release, it has mainly come to be revered more for its advancement in technical achievement and visual effects rather than actual plot or story, but that is definitely where the director shines. When discussing his new creative team and designing the films, Cameron said:
The environments, new cultures — whatever it takes to bring it to life. From what I’m seeing of the art on the wall … in pure imagination is just beyond the first film. I’m speechless.
According to Cameron, his and his team’s goal is to reinvigorate the theater-going experience and take VOD down a peg. For the director, showmanship has always been key:
Our jobs as filmmakers is to keep making films onscreen,” he told the crowd. “We’ll continue to make this industry the greatest show on Earth. My producer Jon Landau and I are committed to the theater experience. Despite what the folks at the Screening Room say, I think movies need to be offered in the theater on opening day. So boom.
Avatar 2, out Christmas 2018, will feature original cast members Sam Worthington (Clash of the Titans), Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy), Sigourney Weaver (Aliens), and Stephen Lang (Conan the Barbarian). No plot details have been released for the first sequel as of yet. We will have more on the films as information surfaces.