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James Cameron on why Avatar needs four sequels

07.25.2016

James Cameron Avatar

Sure, AVATAR quickly became the highest grossing film in the world with an astounding $2.7 billion and remains one of the most incredible visual experiences I've had in a theater, but not once have I thought that it needed another nine hours of story added on. Still, it's James Cameron playing around in a world of giant blue space monkeys so I'd be lying out of my ass if I didn't say that I will almost certainly be in the theater for each of the upcoming AVATAR sequels.

Speaking of the AVATAR sequels, they've grown in number since they were first announced, from two to three and now four, for a grand total of five AVATAR films including the first. Yikes. As to how they ended up with so many sequels, James Cameron recently told Variety that it was because they simply wrote too much.

The ‘Avatar’ story arc was originally meant to be a trilogy, but I overwrite, and my writers overwrote as well. But basically the first of the sequels cloned itself and became two films, so now it’s four films. And the studio’s very happy with it. They have an opportunity to make more money, but it’s also an opportunity to spend a lot more money, too, so there’s a clench factor.

Even if each of these AVATAR sequels makes half the amount that the first made, that's still an awful lot of money to throw around. Here's hoping that, at the very least, each of these sequels wind up being as entertaining as the first. AVATAR 2 is currently set to hit theaters on Christmas 2018, with the sequels following on 2020, 2022, and 2023. James Cameron was on-hand at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of ALIENS, so make sure to check out our coverage of that panel if you missed it!

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: During that same interview with Variety, Cameron also gave an update on the long-awaited Blu-ray release of The Abyss, saying that "weíve done a wet-gate 4K scan of the original negative, and itís going to look insanely good. Weíre going to do an authoring pass in the DI for Blu-ray and HDR at the same time.Ē He also said to expect The Abyss on Blu-ray early next year. Now, if we could just get True Lies as well we'd be set.
Source: Variety

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5:53PM on 07/27/2016

FOUR more movies with who and who?

I find it really hard to believe they're going to be able to maintain that much interest in the main protagonist and his blue girlfriend for FOUR more movies. There is going to have to be one heck of a compelling character arc for people to want to sit through sequel after sequel of the Navi clan. From looking at the new logo, it appears a lot of this one focuses on oceans/underwater stuff, if Cameron goes for yet another [link] plots, people may start to lose interest in this world.

I'll
I find it really hard to believe they're going to be able to maintain that much interest in the main protagonist and his blue girlfriend for FOUR more movies. There is going to have to be one heck of a compelling character arc for people to want to sit through sequel after sequel of the Navi clan. From looking at the new logo, it appears a lot of this one focuses on oceans/underwater stuff, if Cameron goes for yet another [link] plots, people may start to lose interest in this world.

I'll be very surprised to see how Avatar 5 winds up doing (if I'm alive when it ever comes out).
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8:41AM on 07/27/2016
I do not get the interest in this. I"m not sure how many ppl are really that interested in the sequels either.

Let's be honest, the first one was as successful as it was due to it's use of 3D tech in the film. It had nothing to do with story or characters, it was all about VFX. In the time since Avatar came out, interest in 3D has passed. I know movies are still made with the technology, but it's not as common place as James Cameron predicted it would be. So after having seen the first
I do not get the interest in this. I"m not sure how many ppl are really that interested in the sequels either.

Let's be honest, the first one was as successful as it was due to it's use of 3D tech in the film. It had nothing to do with story or characters, it was all about VFX. In the time since Avatar came out, interest in 3D has passed. I know movies are still made with the technology, but it's not as common place as James Cameron predicted it would be. So after having seen the first one and what it did with 3D, why would anyone want to return to the same world for more 3D? It's a shame, because Cameron could have gone on to make other films with 3D and advanced the technology even further. Who knows, maybe it would have been common place in films by now. But instead, he's spent the past decade "talking" about making a sequel to Avatar.
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10:29AM on 07/27/2016
I wish I could find the link where Cameron admits it was basically one big 'tech demo'. Or as one of my software developer colleagues said it was 'Dancing with Smurfs'.
I wish I could find the link where Cameron admits it was basically one big 'tech demo'. Or as one of my software developer colleagues said it was 'Dancing with Smurfs'.
7:15PM on 07/26/2016
Alison in Wonderland also made a bucket of cash. But um... who watched the sequel?
Alison in Wonderland also made a bucket of cash. But um... who watched the sequel?
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7:18PM on 07/26/2016
actually I partially take that back - it made 276 mill, a 100 over it's budget. Soo... actually Cameron will likely make money whatever.
actually I partially take that back - it made 276 mill, a 100 over it's budget. Soo... actually Cameron will likely make money whatever.
2:57PM on 07/26/2016
Sounds exciting. It will probably make tons of money.
Sounds exciting. It will probably make tons of money.
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2:54PM on 07/26/2016

It will NOT break 2 Billion, News Flash

Avatar, was one of those movie that comes out once every 20 years and surprise everyone .... scratch that ... kc needs to thank Europe for 2B dollars in ticket sell ... in US made only 700m+ ... Also, it was release a second time just before summer .... Big fan of JC, but not of Avatar ... not sure why I could not get into it ... Lastly, 3d bright in nearly half the gross .... doubt that will happened again!
Avatar, was one of those movie that comes out once every 20 years and surprise everyone .... scratch that ... kc needs to thank Europe for 2B dollars in ticket sell ... in US made only 700m+ ... Also, it was release a second time just before summer .... Big fan of JC, but not of Avatar ... not sure why I could not get into it ... Lastly, 3d bright in nearly half the gross .... doubt that will happened again!
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8:00PM on 07/26/2016
When you wrote "kc needs to thank Europe..." I thought you meant me. Then I realized you meant JC lol. I am sure "JC" is James Cameron, not who Cameron thinks he is, which is Jesus Christ.
Bwahhhaaa.
When you wrote "kc needs to thank Europe..." I thought you meant me. Then I realized you meant JC lol. I am sure "JC" is James Cameron, not who Cameron thinks he is, which is Jesus Christ.
Bwahhhaaa.
12:05PM on 07/26/2016

Oh for crying out loud

Jesus, shut the fuck up and shoot already. How many more times is he going to explain why he's shooting 3 sequels for this movie? Is he asking for our permission? I'm waiting for the first one to be out in mere months and he hasn't shot a stitch of footage yet cos all he's doing is talking about them. Shoot the god damn thing already.
Jesus, shut the fuck up and shoot already. How many more times is he going to explain why he's shooting 3 sequels for this movie? Is he asking for our permission? I'm waiting for the first one to be out in mere months and he hasn't shot a stitch of footage yet cos all he's doing is talking about them. Shoot the god damn thing already.
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9:23AM on 07/26/2016
Avatar in 2009 was a huge spectacle at the movies. But it's been a very long gap so far. I remember watching it the first time at the movies and was awed by it. However, I watched it again last month and found the movie to be very bland. It didn't hold up that well.
Avatar in 2009 was a huge spectacle at the movies. But it's been a very long gap so far. I remember watching it the first time at the movies and was awed by it. However, I watched it again last month and found the movie to be very bland. It didn't hold up that well.
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8:43AM on 07/26/2016
Oh James... the movies you could be making instead of these *sigh*
Oh James... the movies you could be making instead of these *sigh*
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8:36AM on 07/26/2016
This series has its fans, but it won't repeat the success of the original. A lot of cinema-goers are sick of being charged extra for 3D, but even though Avatar was one of the better examples of the 3D resurgence the interest in the format was waned significantly. I regularly go out of my way to watch a film in 2D. One good sequel to Avatar would be sufficient - four seems ridiculously over-indulgent.
This series has its fans, but it won't repeat the success of the original. A lot of cinema-goers are sick of being charged extra for 3D, but even though Avatar was one of the better examples of the 3D resurgence the interest in the format was waned significantly. I regularly go out of my way to watch a film in 2D. One good sequel to Avatar would be sufficient - four seems ridiculously over-indulgent.
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5:46AM on 07/26/2016
I remember the 4 Year gap between The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded, and in that time the audience interest waned, and the spectacular effects that the first film introduced were now in every film and even TV adverts. I fear the same thing for Avatar, that it simply cannot live up to the first film's achievements and it won't have anything new to show off. Good Luck Cameron, I hope you can show us something new.
I remember the 4 Year gap between The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded, and in that time the audience interest waned, and the spectacular effects that the first film introduced were now in every film and even TV adverts. I fear the same thing for Avatar, that it simply cannot live up to the first film's achievements and it won't have anything new to show off. Good Luck Cameron, I hope you can show us something new.
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3:10AM on 07/26/2016
I am curious to see if his success streak will last. It's been a long time since AVATAR came out, and I think much of the appeal has dwindled. 3d isn't so big a deal these days... I think others have just become colder to the reception of any sequels. I myself thought it was a pretty laughable movie, and I wish that Cameron would have moved on to better things. Either way, I wonder if the sequels will at least recoup the cost of production and advertising.
I am curious to see if his success streak will last. It's been a long time since AVATAR came out, and I think much of the appeal has dwindled. 3d isn't so big a deal these days... I think others have just become colder to the reception of any sequels. I myself thought it was a pretty laughable movie, and I wish that Cameron would have moved on to better things. Either way, I wonder if the sequels will at least recoup the cost of production and advertising.
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1:07AM on 07/26/2016

Don't count your chickens

I am not a fan of Avatar, like at all, and it seems like a lot of people have that feeling. Even though it made a ridiculous chunk of change. It seems like it is the movie people forgot about, even if they were fans of it during its initial release. The second one is the sequel that it doesn't seem a lot of people want, and yet were getting four more. I don't think an epic 4-film arc is going to be a good idea for the studio to invest in because it seems like people just don't care. Also, I
I am not a fan of Avatar, like at all, and it seems like a lot of people have that feeling. Even though it made a ridiculous chunk of change. It seems like it is the movie people forgot about, even if they were fans of it during its initial release. The second one is the sequel that it doesn't seem a lot of people want, and yet were getting four more. I don't think an epic 4-film arc is going to be a good idea for the studio to invest in because it seems like people just don't care. Also, I always thought Cameron was a one film at a time guy. I just don't see this going off very well, I see a studio breaking because of it.
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12:42AM on 07/26/2016

Lol the reason of course is

$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$
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11:35PM on 07/25/2016
"The ĎAvatarí story arc was originally meant to be a trilogy, but I overwrite, and my writers overwrote as well."

That's usually means that you're screwing up if you can't conclude the story within a good time frame. And Cameron is lying. That is not the reason why it's going to be 4 movies. It's going to be 4 movies because he has a gigantic ego and he's a greedy m'fer.
"The ĎAvatarí story arc was originally meant to be a trilogy, but I overwrite, and my writers overwrote as well."

That's usually means that you're screwing up if you can't conclude the story within a good time frame. And Cameron is lying. That is not the reason why it's going to be 4 movies. It's going to be 4 movies because he has a gigantic ego and he's a greedy m'fer.
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11:06PM on 07/25/2016
This first sequel will probably be a decent hit, but it won't reach the heights of the first one. I bet the ones after that will steadily decline in box office. By the fourth sequel, no one is going to care.
This first sequel will probably be a decent hit, but it won't reach the heights of the first one. I bet the ones after that will steadily decline in box office. By the fourth sequel, no one is going to care.
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10:00PM on 07/25/2016

Takes for ever

Yeah avatard 4 in 2070 it tkes him for ever to finish a movie.
Yeah avatard 4 in 2070 it tkes him for ever to finish a movie.
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9:56PM on 07/25/2016
He forgot to answer why it even needs one sequel.
He forgot to answer why it even needs one sequel.
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9:48PM on 07/25/2016

I just don't get it.

I couldn't stand the first one and I can't imagine the others being any better.
I couldn't stand the first one and I can't imagine the others being any better.
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9:31PM on 07/25/2016

Does anyone know if they are filming these yet?

If they are going to hit Christmas 2018, they better get to work. I would imagine there is a whole lot of post-production involved with these films.
If they are going to hit Christmas 2018, they better get to work. I would imagine there is a whole lot of post-production involved with these films.
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9:19PM on 07/25/2016
I found the first one to be entertaining at most (for the time it was released), but now find it extremely overrated.

But I am curious to see what Cameron does with the first Avatar sequel based off his past sequels (T2, and Aliens) which are two of the best sequels of all time of any genre.
I found the first one to be entertaining at most (for the time it was released), but now find it extremely overrated.

But I am curious to see what Cameron does with the first Avatar sequel based off his past sequels (T2, and Aliens) which are two of the best sequels of all time of any genre.
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9:10PM on 07/25/2016
Hmmm no, still not convinced. I also don't think Sam Worthington have enough star power to support an entire saga.
Hmmm no, still not convinced. I also don't think Sam Worthington have enough star power to support an entire saga.
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9:09PM on 07/25/2016

"It doesn't."

There. I fixed it for you, James.
There. I fixed it for you, James.
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9:08PM on 07/25/2016
Ooooor... Make one really great sequel. Once that's out there, got great critical response and made a load of money THEN think about doing a third and so on...

Better that than announce four sequels, plough millions into it, it bombs, studios get cold feet and pull out of future releases leaving an unfinished story.

There's such a thing a counting your chickens etc...
Ooooor... Make one really great sequel. Once that's out there, got great critical response and made a load of money THEN think about doing a third and so on...

Better that than announce four sequels, plough millions into it, it bombs, studios get cold feet and pull out of future releases leaving an unfinished story.

There's such a thing a counting your chickens etc...
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