Shattering all expectations, #JamesCameron's Avatar was an astounding success upon release in 2009. Despite not being based on a pre-existing property, the film went on to gross $2.7 billion at the global box office. After that, a sequel was inevitable. But while blockbusters' second chapters normally arrive in the span of just a couple of years, Avatar has been a different story.
James Cameron has been working on a whopping four films in the franchise, which is a lot to handle. The movies have experienced delay after delay. Most recently, after the first film in the new slate got pushed back from 2018 to 2020, fans of the franchise were losing hope in seeing another journey to Pandora any time soon.
But we should worry no more, because things seem to finally be shaping up for the saga.
The Next Avatar Chapters Have Found Their New Star
Deadline is reporting that #CliffCurtis (better known as Travis Manawa from Fear the Walking Dead) has been cast in a starring role in all four upcoming Avatar films. He will be playing a character named Tonowari, leader of the Metkayina, the reef people clan. That means that, just like his costars Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, and Sam Worthington, he'll be a CGI character.
“Part of my focus in the second film is in creating a different environment – a different setting within Pandora. And I’m going to be focusing on the ocean on Pandora, which will be equally rich and diverse and crazy and imaginative, but it just won’t be a rain forest. I’m not saying we won’t see what we’ve already seen; we’ll see more of that as well.”
Going by Curtis' casting as leading man, playing a leader of a water-based clan, it's clear the director has been faithful to that idea. According to the report, production will begin at Wellington's Stone Street Studios next year, contradicting Weaver's recent comments that production would begin this summer. Setting up movie schedules for people working on ongoing TV shows can be a tricky endeavor, and so the Avatar production will work around the actor's #FeartheWalkingDead schedule.
It's interesting to see how Curtis was cast for all next four Avatar chapters. That goes to show how much Cameron has thought these films out. Of course, that's to be expected after working on them for the better part of a decade. Now, we'll have to see whether Avatar 2 is as successful as its predecessor to help the rest of the planned slate come together. At the time of its release, #Avatar was a novelty thanks to its use of new technologies. With the lack of such an advantage, will its successors manage to be as successful? That's currently an uncertainty but hopefully they will.
Right now, the cast of Avatar 2 consists of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Cliff Curtis. The release date for the upcoming films are December 18, 2020; December 17, 2021; December 30, 2024; and December 19, 2025 (Avatar 5).
What do you think about Cliff Curtis joining the film? Do you think the next Avatar installments will live up to expectations? Let me know in the comments!