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James Cameron says he is "still in the early stages" with Avatar sequels

02.18.2014

The first of three planned sequels to 2009's AVATAR won't hit theaters until 2016, so we're going to be getting a lot of these kind of updates from James Cameron. In an interview with RTL, the director talked about his progress on the AVATAR sequels.

"We're still in the early stages. Right now we're developing the software. I'm writing the scripts. We're designing all the creatures and characters and the settings, and so on. So, I'm not actually directing yet, but I'm doing all the other creative processes that lead up to that. It's going very well. I think it's going to be spectacular. You'll see new worlds, new habitats, new cultures. The primary conflict between the human view kind of dominating nature and the Na'vi view of being integrated into nature is the same, but it manifests itself in very different ways."

Cameron also commented on how the new tech should help things move a little quicker for the upcoming movies.

"The first film… took almost four years to make. We expect to be able to accelerate the process quite a bit, because we've improved a lot of the software and the computer graphics tools, and we've been working very closely with Weta Digital down here in New Zealand developing a whole new suite of tools to speed up the process."

Speaking of speeding things up, James Cameron went on to say they are "looking at high frame rate. I'm studying that. I haven't made a final decision yet, whether the entire film will be made at high frame rate or parts of it. You know, we'll be shooting at a native resolution of probably 4K and so then there should be a lot of true 4K theaters by then as well."

James Cameron continued by saying he can tell any story he wants in the sequels because of the universe he built with the first movie.

"The thing that's great about 'Avatar,' it's such a rich world, I can explore any theme or any idea that I want. Once you've got the characters that an audience loves, it's great to surprise them and make changes and turns that they don't expect. And you don't have to spend so much time of the movie setting up all that stuff, because the audience will remember from the previous film."

I'm at least a little interested in revisiting Pandora. Visually the first film was amazing, but in my opinion the story was a bit weak. I'm not an AVATAR hater, however the movie has some flaws I just can't ignore. Obviously James Cameron is going to spend a ton of time working on the three sequels to AVATAR, and I really hope he spends the same amount of attention on the technology behind the films as he does working on the story.

AVATAR 2 is scheduled to be released in December 2016. The third and fourth films will roll into theaters in December 2017 and December 2018.

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Source: RTL

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11:46PM on 02/20/2014
I'll see them but the truth is that the first wasn't successful because of the story. It succeeded because it was the first 3D movie of its kind. It was why Alice in Wonderland banked so much too. People wanted to see HD 3D films in the cinemas at the time. I think a sequel will be lucky to make half of what the first made.
I'll see them but the truth is that the first wasn't successful because of the story. It succeeded because it was the first 3D movie of its kind. It was why Alice in Wonderland banked so much too. People wanted to see HD 3D films in the cinemas at the time. I think a sequel will be lucky to make half of what the first made.
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+2
9:20PM on 02/19/2014
No audience truly loved these characters and you can tell by the utmost lack of merchandise or want for merchandise out there. The toys completely bombed. Sorry. Just not really caring if this gets made or not.
No audience truly loved these characters and you can tell by the utmost lack of merchandise or want for merchandise out there. The toys completely bombed. Sorry. Just not really caring if this gets made or not.
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+0
8:55PM on 02/19/2014
With the sequels and the planned theme park they will build, JC won't have much time to do anything else but live AVATAR for years. Sure he may put out a good product, but I fear that too much time will have elapsed to keep me interested. Then again I gladly scooped up T2 8yrs after The Terminator...
With the sequels and the planned theme park they will build, JC won't have much time to do anything else but live AVATAR for years. Sure he may put out a good product, but I fear that too much time will have elapsed to keep me interested. Then again I gladly scooped up T2 8yrs after The Terminator...
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6:46PM on 02/18/2014
The sequels do have potential and he can pretty much take the story wherever he wants to.

But I wish he'd stop talking about the technical side of the film making. It's been what, 5 years now just start making it already! Cast Arnold Schwarzenegger as well please.
The sequels do have potential and he can pretty much take the story wherever he wants to.

But I wish he'd stop talking about the technical side of the film making. It's been what, 5 years now just start making it already! Cast Arnold Schwarzenegger as well please.
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1:55AM on 02/19/2014
If it wasn't for the technical precision of the last film, Avatar would have nothing going on for it. There would be nothing special about it. So it makes sense for him to focus on the technical aspect because it made it the highest earning movie of all-time.
If it wasn't for the technical precision of the last film, Avatar would have nothing going on for it. There would be nothing special about it. So it makes sense for him to focus on the technical aspect because it made it the highest earning movie of all-time.
5:13PM on 02/18/2014
I have respect for James Cameron as a film maker, but I dont give a shit or understand why he is so gung-ho about being so techincal and delvelping software, etc....NOBODY is going to watch the sequels and give him shit for not being better , etc...why? because its his vision...but geez nobody is going to wait this long and go wild for the movie...He has had more then enough time to finish up the next story...being a perfectionist is good for getting rid of mess ups , etc , but bad if it means
I have respect for James Cameron as a film maker, but I dont give a shit or understand why he is so gung-ho about being so techincal and delvelping software, etc....NOBODY is going to watch the sequels and give him shit for not being better , etc...why? because its his vision...but geez nobody is going to wait this long and go wild for the movie...He has had more then enough time to finish up the next story...being a perfectionist is good for getting rid of mess ups , etc , but bad if it means to delay things
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+2
3:33PM on 02/18/2014
I wouldn't count Jim out in terms of technical mastery, pushing the limits and his marketing skills. When I saw the trailer and pictures for Avatar, I was so dissapointed and thought that this will be a huge bomb. Both artistically but especially financially. How wrong was I? The first weekend wasn't that special but people kept coming back, and coming and coming. It was something absolutely new in terms of film technology and in terms of building a world - the preciseness and vision on screen
I wouldn't count Jim out in terms of technical mastery, pushing the limits and his marketing skills. When I saw the trailer and pictures for Avatar, I was so dissapointed and thought that this will be a huge bomb. Both artistically but especially financially. How wrong was I? The first weekend wasn't that special but people kept coming back, and coming and coming. It was something absolutely new in terms of film technology and in terms of building a world - the preciseness and vision on screen was remarkable. If he could somehow emulate that again and make it fresh, he has a chance of a repeat.

However, I must say I didn't really love the movie itself. I enjoyed it for what I mentioned above and the beautiful cinematography, but the story never really waranted a sequel. The characters are old stereotypes, their plight not that interesting and the lead was absolutely horrible. I just don't want to go back there, they're boring. The world is beautiful, but the wow factor has worn itself off with just one movie. I think it's a much better IMAX 3D exclusive project than a feature film. As a fun ride at IMAX, to see it as a journey on another planet it's great. But as a film it is pretty bad.
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-2
2:22PM on 02/18/2014
7 years is a LONG time between movies. Historically sequels with that many years between films don't fare well. But people love a spectacle and Cameron always delivers at least that. The script for Avatar was carbon-copy, paint-by-numbers stuff. I don't expect anything more than that from the sequel either. Cameron invests his time and energy creating technology, not becoming a better storyteller. I'm sure I'll pay to see it but I'm not terribly excited about it either.
7 years is a LONG time between movies. Historically sequels with that many years between films don't fare well. But people love a spectacle and Cameron always delivers at least that. The script for Avatar was carbon-copy, paint-by-numbers stuff. I don't expect anything more than that from the sequel either. Cameron invests his time and energy creating technology, not becoming a better storyteller. I'm sure I'll pay to see it but I'm not terribly excited about it either.
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2:36PM on 02/18/2014
Lol, it was 7 years between terminator 1 & 2, I'd say that worked out pretty well.
Lol, it was 7 years between terminator 1 & 2, I'd say that worked out pretty well.
12:19PM on 02/19/2014
That's a fair point. That was also 22 years ago. There were a great many less options vying for our attention then. It was also a really good movie. Ultimately, this movie will be successful either way, but if it could achieve T2 level greatness then it would have little to worry about no matter the cost. I just don't know if Cameron has anything like that in him anymore. I see no evidence of it. I enjoy his deep sea documentaries, but the scripts for Titanic and Avatar were not strong. But he
That's a fair point. That was also 22 years ago. There were a great many less options vying for our attention then. It was also a really good movie. Ultimately, this movie will be successful either way, but if it could achieve T2 level greatness then it would have little to worry about no matter the cost. I just don't know if Cameron has anything like that in him anymore. I see no evidence of it. I enjoy his deep sea documentaries, but the scripts for Titanic and Avatar were not strong. But he is the guy that gave us Aliens, Terminator 1 &2, The Abyss, and True Lies. I also really enjoy Strange Days. Maybe he will prove me wrong.
-1
2:21PM on 02/18/2014
7 years is a LONG time between movies. Historically sequels with that many years between films don't fare well. But people love a spectacle and Cameron always delivers at least that. The script for Avatar was carbon-copy, paint-by-numbers stuff. I don't expect anything more than that from the sequel either. Cameron invests his time and energy creating technology, not becoming a better storyteller. I'm sure I'll pay to see it but I'm not terribly excited about it either.
7 years is a LONG time between movies. Historically sequels with that many years between films don't fare well. But people love a spectacle and Cameron always delivers at least that. The script for Avatar was carbon-copy, paint-by-numbers stuff. I don't expect anything more than that from the sequel either. Cameron invests his time and energy creating technology, not becoming a better storyteller. I'm sure I'll pay to see it but I'm not terribly excited about it either.
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+5
2:21PM on 02/18/2014

Who

Cares?
Cares?
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2:11PM on 02/18/2014

Oh geez

There are some days, like today, that it's just so annoying he's such a perfectionist. 'Avatar' came out almost 5 years ago, why is he still in early stages? Why the hell can't he do sequels like everyone else? He's got waaaaay too many other interests and vanity projects going. The way he shoots movies, he won't make the damn 2016 release date at this rate. Yes, I know all you die-hards are going to say stuff like "You can't rush a genius" or some crap like that. Why the hell not? Why are they
There are some days, like today, that it's just so annoying he's such a perfectionist. 'Avatar' came out almost 5 years ago, why is he still in early stages? Why the hell can't he do sequels like everyone else? He's got waaaaay too many other interests and vanity projects going. The way he shoots movies, he won't make the damn 2016 release date at this rate. Yes, I know all you die-hards are going to say stuff like "You can't rush a genius" or some crap like that. Why the hell not? Why are they always given such a wide berth? That's the really annoying part is they always do this shit. Someone smack him upside the head. U really how many awesome movies he could've done if he just concentrated on doing movies? He's a filmmaker, stay that way and make damn movies. The rest of that stuff has nothing to do with us. I don't care if its life, we're the ones waiting on his ass.
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2:37PM on 02/18/2014
You mad bro ?
You mad bro ?
9:50PM on 02/18/2014
Yes I'm mad, apparently I'm not the only one. Just tired of hearing about it all the time. Do the damn movies already, ur not curing cancer.
Yes I'm mad, apparently I'm not the only one. Just tired of hearing about it all the time. Do the damn movies already, ur not curing cancer.
+10
1:32PM on 02/18/2014

I COULD NOT CARE LESS...

Im as excited as if it was about the next SMURF movie...
Im as excited as if it was about the next SMURF movie...
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12:46PM on 02/18/2014
I could honestly care less about Avatar. Aside from the 3D effects in the first one, I wasn't really that impressed. The story nor the world seemed that interesting, especially not interesting enough to come back 3 more times for a movie. Aside from that James Cameron spends so much time up-talking his projects that you know he won't deliver on any of it, sure there might be some cool new technology used to shoot the film but he's still the one writing the story and that hasn't been his
I could honestly care less about Avatar. Aside from the 3D effects in the first one, I wasn't really that impressed. The story nor the world seemed that interesting, especially not interesting enough to come back 3 more times for a movie. Aside from that James Cameron spends so much time up-talking his projects that you know he won't deliver on any of it, sure there might be some cool new technology used to shoot the film but he's still the one writing the story and that hasn't been his forte in quite some time. I have no faith in this movie whatsoever.
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12:41PM on 02/18/2014

Hmm.

Can't help thinking there's gonna be some heavily forced product placement because what studio would risk going bankkrupt to fund a 3D visual jizzfest of a movie featuring 1D characters?? I wouldn't be suprised if a large chunk of the BoxOffice $$ went to repairs towards blown up computers at the rendering-farms.
Can't help thinking there's gonna be some heavily forced product placement because what studio would risk going bankkrupt to fund a 3D visual jizzfest of a movie featuring 1D characters?? I wouldn't be suprised if a large chunk of the BoxOffice $$ went to repairs towards blown up computers at the rendering-farms.
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+5
12:36PM on 02/18/2014
I am glad to see the general consensus here... By the time these come out, no one will care.
I am glad to see the general consensus here... By the time these come out, no one will care.
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11:39AM on 02/18/2014
"I think I've finally decided on which colour filter I'll be using. I've also tweaked the Sam Worthington robot to act a bit more naturally this time around."
"I think I've finally decided on which colour filter I'll be using. I've also tweaked the Sam Worthington robot to act a bit more naturally this time around."
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10:42AM on 02/18/2014
Avatar is a well-made movie and I fully acknowledge its technical achievements but if I were James Cameron, I'd stop talking about the sequels until I have something concrete to show for it, because I feel like I'm already tired of Avatar 2 before anything really happens with it.
Avatar is a well-made movie and I fully acknowledge its technical achievements but if I were James Cameron, I'd stop talking about the sequels until I have something concrete to show for it, because I feel like I'm already tired of Avatar 2 before anything really happens with it.
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10:39AM on 02/18/2014
boggles my mind how Avatar became as popular.
boggles my mind how Avatar became as popular.
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9:44AM on 02/18/2014
It's only natural to have a sequel (or two, or three) to this movie. Despite my ambivalence about a franchise, I'm not going to dispute that the numbers are there. What I don't like is James Cameron isn't worried about telling a story, he's worried about developing technology than he is making a follow-up to cash in on the craze. The first film took four years to make? Right, meanwhile it's been FIVE years since it came out. Reminds me of the long road to "Sin City 2," except the exact
It's only natural to have a sequel (or two, or three) to this movie. Despite my ambivalence about a franchise, I'm not going to dispute that the numbers are there. What I don't like is James Cameron isn't worried about telling a story, he's worried about developing technology than he is making a follow-up to cash in on the craze. The first film took four years to make? Right, meanwhile it's been FIVE years since it came out. Reminds me of the long road to "Sin City 2," except the exact opposite, because Robert Rodriguez takes months, not years, to make his movies.

Now, in the end, "Avatar 2" might make up to as much money as the last one did based on pure curiosity plus technological breakthrough. But if it doesn't, what will that mean for Cameron's gravy train? He should seriously just make the movie. The technology exists to do it. Maybe the next one will look better, but even the critics tend to concede the effects are pretty spectacular already.
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9:35AM on 02/18/2014
One film is enough, Mr. Cameron.
One film is enough, Mr. Cameron.
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9:26AM on 02/18/2014
Yeah I dont really recall love for any character besides one guy. Sorry Jimmy, Avatar was no Terminator or Aliens in terms of characters we love and the general lack of interest tells me youve failed to force this universe into being the next Lord of the Rings or Star Wars
Yeah I dont really recall love for any character besides one guy. Sorry Jimmy, Avatar was no Terminator or Aliens in terms of characters we love and the general lack of interest tells me youve failed to force this universe into being the next Lord of the Rings or Star Wars
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9:17AM on 02/18/2014
It still baffles me how the first one made so much money, but I doubt the sequels will have the same success as no one is thrilled these are coming.
It still baffles me how the first one made so much money, but I doubt the sequels will have the same success as no one is thrilled these are coming.
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8:25AM on 02/18/2014
I'm sorry but at this point who cares.
I'm sorry but at this point who cares.
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8:13AM on 02/18/2014

I really don't care to see sequels

The "oooh, ahhh!" factor will be gone....we've seen all the pretty colors and floating mountains. The coolness of using an avatar is now passe'. What's the point of rehashing this?
The "oooh, ahhh!" factor will be gone....we've seen all the pretty colors and floating mountains. The coolness of using an avatar is now passe'. What's the point of rehashing this?
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12:40PM on 02/18/2014
Very true. It will be like the Matrix sequels. After seeing the bullet time action scenes in the first, everything they did in the sequels were very passe.
Very true. It will be like the Matrix sequels. After seeing the bullet time action scenes in the first, everything they did in the sequels were very passe.
8:08AM on 02/18/2014
Watch them bomb like After Earth
Watch them bomb like After Earth
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8:05AM on 02/18/2014

love?

Who loves these characters?
Who loves these characters?
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11:46AM on 02/18/2014
And which characters are we even supposed to love? The cardboard-cutout, emotionless guy in a wheelchair? The ridiculous "Native American" alien love interest in which there wasn't an ounce of chemistry between? I'm genuinely confused by that quote.
And which characters are we even supposed to love? The cardboard-cutout, emotionless guy in a wheelchair? The ridiculous "Native American" alien love interest in which there wasn't an ounce of chemistry between? I'm genuinely confused by that quote.
7:57AM on 02/18/2014
Avatar's biggest flaw is that it became too popular too fast.
Avatar's biggest flaw is that it became too popular too fast.
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7:56AM on 02/18/2014
Kind of wish he would spend more time directing other films that aren't Avatar related.
Kind of wish he would spend more time directing other films that aren't Avatar related.
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7:58AM on 02/18/2014
I agree. I want to see another R-rated, pulse pounding, pull no punches, sci-fi thriller from Cameron.
I agree. I want to see another R-rated, pulse pounding, pull no punches, sci-fi thriller from Cameron.
8:06AM on 02/18/2014
I completely agree Bob Loblaw, unfortunately those days are long behind us.
I completely agree Bob Loblaw, unfortunately those days are long behind us.
9:48AM on 02/18/2014
I too want to see him making films like Terminator or The Abyss once more.
I too want to see him making films like Terminator or The Abyss once more.
10:01AM on 02/18/2014
Thats exactly what I wanted Avatar to be Netforce and I was disappointed
Thats exactly what I wanted Avatar to be Netforce and I was disappointed
10:14AM on 02/18/2014
I was hoping that too, Ocelot_Snake. It has good premise but I was overwhelmed with all the special effects, particularly the third act. Special effects should not be the Driving force of the movie. It should support story telling.
I was hoping that too, Ocelot_Snake. It has good premise but I was overwhelmed with all the special effects, particularly the third act. Special effects should not be the Driving force of the movie. It should support story telling.
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