Cameron still con­nect­ing the dots on se­quels

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By NICK PERRY in­Welling­ton, New Zealand

Di­rec­tor James Cameron says that writ­ing three Avatar se­quels is such a com­plex job he’s de­lay­ing the first new film for a year, and it will now be re­leased in late 2017.

Cameron plans to film the highly an­tic­i­pated se­quels all at one time and then re­lease the three films over con­sec­u­tive years.

The first had been due in late 2016, but he said the writ­ing process had proved to be “very in­volved” and that the ini­tial tar­get date was prob­a­bly too am­bi­tious.

“There’s a layer of com­plex­ity in get­ting the story to work as a saga across three films that you don’t get when you’re mak­ing a stand-alone film,” he says in Wellington, New Zealand, on a visit to pro­mote the lo­cal film in­dus­try with other direc­tors in­clud­ing Peter Jack­son.

Cameron says the goal was to have the three scripts com­pleted this month. He’s lead­ing the writ­ing team.

“We’re writ­ing three simultaneously. And we’ve done that so that ev­ery­thing tracks through­out the three films. We’re not just go­ing to do one and then make up another one and another one after that,” he says. “And par­al­lel with that, we’re do­ing all the de­sign. So we’ve de­signed all the crea­tures and the en­vi­ron­ments.”

Cameron says it’s im­por­tant that each film linked for­ward to the next one in a sat­is­fy­ing­way but al­so­came to a res­o­lu­tion so that the au­di­ence wasn’t left hang­ing.

Re­leased in 2009, Avatar is the high­est-gross­ing film in his­tory, with a box-of­fice take of nearly $2.8 bil­lion. It was named best drama at the Golden Globes and won Academy Awards for cin­e­matog­ra­phy, visual ef­fects and art di­rec­tion.

Cameron shot the orig­i­nal movie in New Zealand and is plan­ning to shoot the se­quels there.

Pro­ducer Jon Lan­dau, who is work­ing with Cameron on the movies, says the team is tak­ing greater se­cu­rity pre­cau­tions fol­low­ing the re­cent hack against Sony: “I will only say ‘yes’ but will not tell you how,” he jokes.

The films will be made by Light­storm En­ter­tain­ment and Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox.

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