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James Cameron's four Avatar sequels may cost over a billion dollars

09.26.2017

James Cameron Avatar

With its "official" budget listed at $237 million, James Cameron's AVATAR wasn't exactly a cheap film to produce, but the epic sci-fi movie would go on to gross $2.7 billion dollars at the box-office, making it the highest grossing film of all-time. Quite an impressive achievement, which is probably why Twentieth Century Fox felt comfortable handing James Cameron a blank cheque for the four sequels.

Production on the four sequels, which Cameron will be shooting simultaneously, finally got underway yesterday and Deadline has said that the production will be the most expensive of its kind, with the estimated collective budget expected to surpass $1 billion. That's a hell of a lot of money to throw at sequels which many of us didn't necessarily want or need in the first place, but hey, it's James "the bravest pioneer" Cameron, and he's certainly proven that it's unwise to bet against him. Although a budget in excess of $1 billion certainly sounds like a big number, it breaks down to about $250 million per sequel, which is still a pretty penny, but certainly isn't unheard of for these types of blockbusters. I can't imagine how daunting it must be to tackle four movies at once, but Cameron told Famous Monsters of Filmland earlier this year that he's looking at it as one big production.

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.

The first AVATAR sequel will hit theaters on December 18, 2020, with AVATAR 3 following on December 17, 2021, AVATAR 4 on December 20, 2024, and, finally, AVATAR 5 wrapping everything up on December 19, 2025.

Source: Deadline

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