BySean Erickson, writer at Creators.co
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

James Cameron loves the water. No really, I mean he loooves the water. When he isn't breaking box office records with his feature films, he's off in the middle of an ocean somewhere breaking scientific records and making a documentary about it. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that he wants to take [Avatar 2](movie:38662) in the same direction.

Recent news of the sequel getting pushed back to, at least, 2017 means we're not going to be getting many concrete details any time soon. At this rate the complete collection of the 3 or 4 Avatar films will be available as a box set some time around 2025, if we're lucky. But what can be put together with the information we do have?

How far will the Avatar sequel push CGI technology?
How far will the Avatar sequel push CGI technology?

Both James Cameron and producer Jon Landau have spoken about the desire to spend more time under Pandora's waters. While the first Avatar took us up and around those floating islands, the sequels are looking to explore the other parts of Pandora - and possibly off Pandora to include other moons and planets.

The level of detail that Cameron has put into this world of his is truly astounding and it is clearly something that he wants to explore to its full extent. You get the sense that he's creating a massive statement with Pandora and the Na'vi people - one that can define a career.

Though James Cameron might prefer that his career defining moment come from his scientific explorations. He explained that he did get inspiration for the sequels by learning about the navigational skills of Polynesian sailors during a record-setting solo dive to the Mariana Trench.

Setting underwater records in science and film.
Setting underwater records in science and film.

When the first Avatar came out Cameron was quick to talk up the sequels and ideas he had for the further adventures of the Na'vi. He even mentioned how the sequels would be easier to work on since they had already spent the time developing the technology and tools to create the Avatar world. But as we all know, last year's technology is this year's rubbish.

The Disney ride shows off Avatar's water element.
The Disney ride shows off Avatar's water element.

It makes sense that Cameron is planning on a trilogy on top of the first film and getting that sorted out in order to shoot it back-to-back is likely what's causing the delays. It's better to shoot three films at once than to have to rebuild for each film.

As of just a month or so ago, the folks at the WETA effects house are still working on the infrastructure required to bring these Avatar sequels to life. And no, they haven't even done any underwater motion capture yet. This amount of work is the kind that makes sense to do for multiple films rather than just one.

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