Oh my Tree god. Someone needs to tell James Cameron what “overkill” is. Back in May, the Terminator, Titanic, and Avatar director shared plans about solely working on the Avatar films and nothing else, according to CinemaBlend. Of his commitment to the franchise, Cameron said, “So I'm not interested in developing anything. I'm in the Avatar business. Period. That's it. I'm making Avatar 2, Avatar 3, maybe Avatar 4, and I'm not going to produce other people's movies for them.” Quite a bold statement from the director and it looks like he might not have been kidding.
Recently, Showbiz 411 interviewed Avatar actress Sigourney Weaver, who had the following to say about the sequels. Take a look at this excerpt from the article:
Then she films “Avatar” 2, 3, and 4 with James Cameron. That’s right: they’re making three sequels to the blue 3D phenom all at the same time. Weaver says she has no idea how long it will take, or how it’s going to work. “I just show up,” she said.
It's possible that Weaver was simply speaking extemporaneously, as this isn't exactly official news. Still, if her close relationship with Cameron since 1986's Aliens confirms anything, this could mean that the director will be shooting all three films back-to-back. It's an incredibly ambitious endeavor but James Cameron is no stranger to ambition. He conceived the idea for the Avatar universe in the 90's and waited until the technology was just right to bring his extraordinary vision to life.
With a budget of 237 million, 2009's Avatar became the highest-grossing film of all time in North America, earning about 2.7 billion dollars worldwide. The visuals were absolutely stunning, smoothly transporting viewers into the world of Pandora. Still, Avatar was not without its critics. Many found fault with Cameron's simplistic moralizing, the film's weak script and similarities to Dances with Wolves (except they're in space this time!), and the story's reinforcement of the Mighty Whitey trope (beware, TVTropes link! You could spend hours there).
Avatar 2 has the potential to be a wildly successful sequel, especially as technology continues to improve and Cameron maintains his reputation for delivering engrossing cinematic experiences. We have about four years until that's released, so hopefully Cameron works on the script as much as the visuals. Still, will the universe of Pandora hold up by Avatar 4? There's really only so much “I see you.” one viewer can take!