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James Cameron explains how they're going to shoot all those Avatar sequels

04.18.2016

avatar, na'vi, pandora, james cameron

When James Cameron popped up at this year's CinemaCon and announced plans to proceed ahead with now four AVATAR sequels in the coming years, nearly everyone thought the man insane. After all, how many people were really psyched about one AVATAR sequel at this point, let alone three more on top of that? But this is the same filmmaker that continues to prove people wrong every time his crazy ideas have been written off (see TITANIC, the first AVATAR, etc.), so it makes perfect sense for him to ignore all those voices that say he can't or he shouldn't and just do whatever the hell he wants. 

However, when you hear what Cameron's plans are for shooting all four movies, you're really going to start believing the guy might totally be off his rocker. In an interview with Famous Monsters Of Filmland, Cameron details how those productions are lined up, and it isn't back-to-back-to-back-to-back... Oh no... That might seem more conventional and reasonable than what's in the cards.

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. So Monday 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.

I guess now we know why the first isn't hitting theaters until 2018 with the next not scheduled until 2020. They're going to need plenty of time to sort them out, put together an edit that works, render effects, etc. And people thought the way Peter Jackson did THE LORD OF THE RINGS was risky. This is much ballsier. You have to admire Cameron's ambition on that level. He's probably the only director insane enough to try something like this.

The first AVATAR sequel is eyeing a Christmas 2018 release date.

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