It's been eight years since Avatar arrived in theaters and absolutely obliterated box office records. That left many wondering why James Cameron didn't fast track a sequel, but after all of this time, he is finally in production on Avatar 2. Actually, to be more accurate, he's in production on four Avatar sequels that are going to result in a five movie saga that will conclude in 2025. That's a long way off, but the important thing is that the director is in "full-tilt" production on the sequels as we speak. It is really happening.
The director recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly in honor of the upcoming 3D release of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, a movie that proves James Cameron really knows how to make a great sequel. So even if you didn't love the first Avatar, we have reason to think Avatar 2 could be extra awesome. He's hard at work on the movie right now and revealed that, even though all of the locations are digital, they still need to do some location scouting, which is what is being worked on right now. Here's what he had to say about it.
"Oh, we're in production. We're in full-tilt production. We're in what we call 'scouting,' which basically is shooting for me. I'm on the stage all day long during the scouting process, because there are no sets or locations, other than in the virtual world, so I do all my location-scouting with a troop of actors that go through the virtual sets, and give me a sense of the scale and position, lighting, that sort of thing. Then, I'm in rehearsals with my principal cast and I start with them at the end of September."
When James Cameron revealed that he was making not one, but four Avatar sequels, many were skeptical that he would actually get to work on them. He's been talking about Avatar 2 for years. But it sounds like he is past the point of no return. And with the cast set to report for duty next month, it's time to start getting excited for Avatar 2, and Avatar 3, Avatar 4 and Avatar 5. Cameron also talked a bit about Zoe Saldana, who is reprising her role from the first movie. He joked that at this point she has earned the title of "Queen of Outer Space."
"She is kind of the Queen of Outer Space at this point, between Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Avatar. Although her character does not go to space in Avatar, I should point that out. We have to go through interstellar space to get to where she is. She pretty much lives in a rain forest."
As it Stands, the Avatar sequels are set to be released on December 18, 2020, December 17, 2021, December 20, 2024, and December 19, 2025. That means it is going to be eight years before this massive saga finally wraps up. But one has to wonder, could a sixth Avatar movie be in the cards? James Cameron won't rule it out, but he figures Zoe Saldana won't be in it.
"A fifth sequel? Um, yeah, she may be out. But you know what? I'm going to cross that bridge when I come to it, in nine years!"
Avatar remains the highest-grossing movie ever made, with a staggering $2.78 billion worldwide total. The next closest movie isn't even that close, with Titanic sitting at $2.18 billion worldwide. Which also happens to be a James Cameron movie. Can Avatar 2 actually bring in that same kind of money? Maybe not, but the movie is finally, actually happening and that's what matters.