James Cameron himself appeared onstage at 2016’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas, at 20th Century Fox’s presentation to announce that there would be FOUR new ‘Avatar’ movies to be released between 2018 and 2023. That’s one more movie than had previously been expected.
At the presentation, Cameron expressed:
“We’ve decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic process. We’ve begun to bump up against the limitation of our art form. There’s just too much story. I’ve been working with the top four screenwriters and designers in the world to design the world of Avatar going forward. The environments, new cultures — whatever it takes to bring it to life. From what I’m seeing of the art on the wall, in pure imagination is just beyond the first film. I’m speechless.”
The long-awaited ‘Avatar 2’ is said to be coming for Christmas 2018, to be followed by ‘Avatar 3’ in 2020, ‘Avatar 4’ in 2022 and ‘Avatar 5’ in 2023. (Good thing most of the cast is CGI. They’re gonna be a lot older by the time that last one rolls around.) The first ‘Avatar’ came out seven years ago, in 2009 and became the highest-grossing movie of all time– a title it retains to this day. Fox announced a sequel would arrive in December of 2014. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
It’s now a bit unclear as to which direction these films will take. It had previously been announced that stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang were all returning, which obviously implied that at least the second film would be a continuation of the first. But Cameron’s revelation about the four sequels paints a different picture:
“Each one [of the sequels] stands alone but together form a complete saga, a true epic saga told in this rich complex world.”
So… an expanded shared universe? Are there any movies coming out anymore that are just stand-alone stories?
It’s interesting to note that the ‘Avatar’ sequels are planned for Christmas release, as are Warner Brothers’ ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movies and Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ continuations. It looks like the holiday season has become the new summer. Then again, at the rate that big releases are expanding further and further into outside months, pretty soon the term “summer movie” is going to be as obsolete as calling films “talkies.”
Are you still looking forward to a new ‘Avatar’? Will the new movies do as well as the first, or is that impossible? (‘Star Wars’ couldn’t even manage that.) Do you think five movies is too much?
Jason has had blue hair in the past. You can follow him on Twitter.