When Avatar first hit cinemas, James Cameron's latest science fiction epic broke all kinds of records and soon became the first film to earn more than two billion dollars at the box office. In fact, Avatar beat the previous record holder #Titanic (also directed by Cameron) to become the highest grossing blockbuster movie of all time. The unstoppable success of the movie and the expansive world of Pandora made an Avatar franchise inevitable, but nothing came of it for years. Now, almost a decade later, the Avatar franchise has finally moved out of Cameron's drawing board.
Production for the sequel to the biggest movie of all time finally began today, but making just one Avatar sequel isn't going to cut it for Cameron. In fact, the legendary filmmaker has started the production of four Avatar sequels today, all of which have a collective budget of over a billion dollars.
Cameron's plan is to film all four sequels in succession, meaning he'll be working on the world of #Pandora from now until 2025. The four Avatar sequels are slated as followed:
- Avatar 2: December 18, 2020
- Avatar 3: December 17, 2021
- Avatar 4:December 20, 2024
- Avatar 5: December 19, 2025
All sequels are expected to be filmed in 3D, a factor that contributed to Avatar's incredible box office gross in 2009. Though the story's details are currently sparse, a number of the original cast are contracted to return. Perhaps most notably, Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana will reprise their roles as Jake Sully and Neytiri, respectively. Also, despite the deaths of their characters, Sigourney Weaver (who played Dr. Grace Augustine) and Stephen Lang (who played Colonel Miles Quaritch) will also return. The humans are still expected to be the antagonists of the next Avatar movies, with the strong environmental themes of the first film being delved into once again.
So, What Took 'Avatar' So Long?
Before Avatar was released, the Terminator creator was toying with the idea of making two sequels if the first movie was a success. But when his movie smashed box office records, Cameron confidently expanded his plans by promising four more Avatar movies. With the help of his team of screenwriters, #JamesCameron got to work on his new franchise, hoping to release the sequels between 2016 to 2018. However, the work took much longer than expected, forcing the release dates to be pushed back all the way to 2020.
One of the reasons behind the delays was Cameron's insistence on getting the world of Pandora right, as seen in the fact that he's been working on perfecting the ocean ecosystem of the planet since 2012. The delays got so numerous that Cameron even dropped the chance to direct his passion project, a film adaptation of the manga Battle Angel Alita. It's not all bad news for the manga adaptation though, as Cameron has since handed the director's chair to Robert Rodriguez of Sin City fame, while the Avatar director still serves as the movie's producer.
After the better part of a decade, Cameron and his team have finally settled on a set of scripts they feel are the perfect continuations to Jake Sully's adventures in Pandora. Avatar ended with Sully becoming one of the Na'vi, meaning that the upcoming sequels could show what life is like for the former soldier. Only time will tell if audiences are still curious to see more of Pandora and Jake, and if the sequels will surpass the first groundbreaking first installment.
Do you want to see the upcoming Avatar sequels? What did you think of the first Avatar movie? Share your thoughts in the comments below.