While in China attending the screening of ‘Titanic 3D’ at the Bejing International Film Festival, James Cameron spoke to the New York Times about upcoming projects and the role Hollywood (more specifically the broadcasting of 3D) can have on the Chinese film industries. It wasn’t’ until he starting talking about what’s in store for his future that he let out there also may be an ‘Avatar 4’ in the works.
Cameron has been very busy doing scientific research and documentary work over the last few years and states that when it comes to making movies themselves, ‘Avatar’ will become his central focus:
“I’ve divided my time over the last 16 years over deep ocean exploration and filmmaking. I’ve made two movies in 16 years, and I’ve done eight expeditions. Last year I basically completely disbanded my production company’s development arm. So I’m not interested in developing anything. I’m in the “Avatar” business. Period. That’s it. I’m making “Avatar 2,” “Avatar 3,” maybe “Avatar 4,” and I’m not going to produce other people’s movies for them. I’m not interested in taking scripts. And that all sounds I suppose a little bit restricted, but the point is I think within the “Avatar” landscape I can say everything I need to say that I think needs to be said, in terms of the state of the world and what I think we need to be doing about it. And doing it in an entertaining way.
He went on to say that what he can’t convey in the ‘Avatar’ films, he’ll do so through documentaries.
“I’ve done five documentaries in the last 10 years, and I’ll hopefully do a lot more. In fact, I’m doing one right now, which is on this, the Deep Sea Challenge project that we just completed the first expedition. So that’ll be a film that’ll get made this year and come out first quarter of next year.”
The news of a possible ‘Avatar 4’ should make 20th Century Fox a happy studio but the question is when would that come out? Originally ‘Avatar 2’ was supposed to be released in 2014 with ‘Avatar 3’ (which is said to be filmed concurrently with ‘Avatar 2’) in 2015. Jon Landau, however, commented that it would probably be much later (originally saying 2016 before ‘Avatar 2’ is in theaters).
And if you’re wondering how far in the sequels Cameron has gotten at this point:
“We’ve spent the last year and a half on software development and pipeline development. The virtual production methodology was extremely prototypical on the first film. As then, no one had ever done it before and we didn’t even know for two and half years into it and $100 million into it if it was going to work. So we just wanted to make our lives a whole lot easier so that we can spend a little more of our brainpower on creativity. It was a very, very uphill battle on the first film. So we’ve been mostly working on the tool set, the production pipeline, setting up the new stages in Los Angeles, setting up the new visual effects pipeline in New Zealand, that sort of thing. And, by the way, writing. We haven’t gotten to the design stage yet. That’ll be the next.”
If ‘Avatar’ is anything to go by, given the envelope pushing massive technology these movies may require, it’s no wonder that the movie’s release date would be pushed back and why Cameron would voluntarily commit himself to only this franchise. He’s very environmentally motivated and with the success he’s had, he can afford to get his message out in any manner he wishes.
So do you think Cameron is committing career suicide by not getting involved with other projects? Or are you happy that there’s more in store for the planet Pandora?