Believe it or not, James Cameron actually has been working on the sequels to ‘Avatar,’ you just probably haven’t heard anything about it as there has been no PR for the film, and the world has moved on to bigger and better things besides the goings on in the world of Pocahontas… sorry, Pandora. Originally Cameron had stated that the sequel to the well-received ‘Avatar’ would be the biggest movie of 2016, though now it seems the sequel is getting pushed back a year till 2017, which means that all 3 films of the new trilogy will similarly be pushed back. According to Cameron:
“There’s a layer of complexity in getting the story to work as a saga across three films that you don’t get when you’re making a standalone film… We’re writing three simultaneously. And we’ve done that so that everything tracks throughout the three films. We’re not just going to do one and then make up another one and another one after that. And parallel with that, we’re doing all the design. So we’ve designed all the creatures and the environments.”
So at the very least we can appreciate that he’s not just slapping a bunch of sequels together to keep the money-train going (take note Peter Jackson), but the real issue is whether or not this new trilogy is not only feasible (are they really going to be able to nab Zoe Saldana to come back for THREE time-consuming movies when she’s already starring in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ sequels and ‘Star Trek’ sequels?), but also whether the audience will still be there to embrace the film when it lands.
It’s been over 5 years since the original, and a lot has changed since then. Moviegoers aren’t as wowed by 3D movies as they once were (with any luck the trend will start to die down in the next few years), and a lot of people have forgotten the enchantments of ‘Avatar.’ And with the amount of money being spent on the films, and the faith that the first sequel will be successful enough to warrant two more after that, it all sounds like a perfect storm for a brilliant director to finally fall from grace. (If you want a perfect example of a sequel to a visionary film failing after waiting far too many years for a sequel, look up last year’s ‘Sin City’ sequel.)
Still, Cameron has always seemed like he knew what he was doing, so let’s hope he can get all the pieces together, and deliver something mesmerizing to audiences in 2017.