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Production has begun on James Cameron's stand-alone Avatar sequels

On the evening of June 20th, during 20th Century Fox's presentation at CineEurope in Barcelona, Lightstorm Entertainment's Jon Landau shared some details as to the production of James Cameron's four upcoming AVATAR sequels. As we've reported in the past, the Cameron-directed films will be stand-alone ventures, but will ultimately come together to form "an epic saga." As of the moment, production is set to begin on September 25th.

As you might recall, back in April of this year, the AVATAR Facebook page boasted that it's, "Great to be working with the best team in the business! Avatar takes flight as we begin concurrent production on four sequels.” Then, during the CineEurope event, Landau announced that Cameron, “has done a couple of sequels before in his career and I would argue that those sequels have lived up to, if not exceeded, the original movies.” Landau went on to say that the foundation of Cameron's process always begins with a strong script and, “that’s what Jim has been working on for the last several years… Finally, we have the four scripts for the AVATAR films ready.”

During the development phase, “some of the industry’s best artists” have been working on designing the world of Pandora, said Landau, who then shared a premiere preview montage of the newer art and ideas related to the world of AVATAR and its inhabitants. Landau then continued, “At the heart of any movie are the characters. One of the strengths of great scripts are always the universal and relatable themes… There’s no more relatable theme than family. At the center of each of our four movies will be the Sully family. Each sequel will play as a stand-alone movie. Each movie’s story will come to its own conclusion… However, when looked at as a whole, the journey across all four movies will create an even larger connected epic saga for audiences around the world.”

During the planning stages of the sequels and the development of the scripting process, the desicion was made to continue telling the story of AVATAR while remaining on Pandora. “We always knew that Pandora was a place as diverse as Earth," Landau added.

As it stands, AVATAR is still the biggest box office hits of all time, after having grossed a record-setting total of $2.7 billion worldwide. From what I can remember, I was blown away by the special effects and lush environments of Pandora, though little else about the film's characters or mythos has stayed with me as the years have worn on. If I'm being perfectly frank, I've no interest in returning to Pandora, but if Cameron's passion for creating cinematic spectacles shines through on this passion project, I'd be more than delighted to swallow my apprehension and give the next film in the series a shot, at least. 

AVATAR 2 is expected to open on on December 18, 2020 with AVATAR 3 on December 17, 2021, AVATAR 4 on December 20, 2024, and AVATAR 5 on December 19, 2025.

Extra Tidbit: When Disney's Pandora - The World of Avatar opened, there were sections of the park that were built without wheelchair access. I'll repeat that, the theme park section based on a film where a main character was confined to a wheelchair, was built without access for disabled persons. Smooth moves, Mouse.

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