Cameron still connecting the dots on sequels
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.