James Cameron Reveals Details On His New “Avatar” Films

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James Cameron has recently spoke out about the forthcoming plans for his planned sequels to his 2009 blockbuster “Avatar.” The Oscar-winning director has announced that there will be four sequels developed and that they will film concurrently. In an exclusive interview with Famous Monsters of Filmland, Cameron explains the production process for the films, his inclusion of more real-world photographic references in his movies, his non-interest in competing with the new Star Wars films, and why he’s choosing to not film the sequels back-to-back, but rather concurrently. Check out the interview below and see why the director claims, “It’s going to be probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever done.”
It’s not back-to-back. It’s really all one big production. It’s more the way you would shoot a miniseries. So we’ll be shooting across all [AVATAR scripts] simultaneously. SoMonday I might be doing a scene from Movie Four, and Tuesday I’m doing a scene from Movie One. … We’re working across, essentially, eight hours of story. It’s going to be a big challenge to keep it all fixed in our minds, exactly where we are, across that story arc at any given point. It’s going to be probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I’m sure the actors will be challenged by that as well. It’s like, ‘No, no, no, no, this person hasn’t died yet, so you’re still in this phase of your life.’ It’s a saga. It’s like doing all three GODFATHER films at the same time.”

If I could do the Alien Queen today with the techniques we used on AVATAR, she’d be spectacular. She’d be much more dynamic. Now, where I would struggle is to make her as texturally real. But that’s all doable now. … On the new AVATAR films, I’m actually going to shoot more real-world stuff. It may only be there as an example from which we then generate CG, or we may actually integrate some of those photographic elements. But I want more photography. … Like, if I was doing the Alien Queen, I would want photography to show the exact way that the slime drools off the curl of a lip and caught the light in a certain type of very low-key lighting. I would want to see that so that I can talk to the CG artist and say, ‘All right. Do that.’ … It always usually boils down to the lighting and the conception of the shot.”

My original plan was to release them a year apart, but we’re opening that up. If for no other reason than that I don’t want to land on the same date as one of the STAR WARS sequels. That wouldn’t be fair to them. [Laughs] No, that’s just good business. I don’t want to go head-to-head with STAR WARS. That would be stupid. And hopefully they won’t want to go head to head with us.”

The first follow-up to AVATAR is expected to hit theaters on Christmas 2018, with the following sequels expected to arrive in 2020, 2022, and 2023. Released in 2009, the first AVATAR raked in $2.8 billion worldwide and remains the highest-grossing film of all time (if you do not adjust for inflation). The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, and won three Oscars: Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, and Best Art Direction.

**All quotes are attributed to Famous Monsters of Filmland. James Cameron’s exclusive ALIENS 30th anniversary interview with executive editor David Weiner will be available at CaptainCo.com and on newsstands June 7.**

Special thanks to Famous Monsters of Filmland for their exclusive contribution

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Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's chief editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. One with the Force. Browncoats Unite! So say we all! Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett