Ah, ‘Avatar’. The film franchise that ate James Cameron. Or rather, the nascent film franchise. As strange as it feels to describe a ten year old property as “nascent,” the word applies. After all, while the film set box office records that stand to this day, it’s still just the one film (well, there’s also a theme park). but we’ll find out soon enough what sort of legs this franchise has, as the first sequel will at long last arrive late next year.
But what are we going to call that sequel? To date, it’s just been known as ‘Avatar 2’, but while that’s not inaccurate (it is, after all, the second ‘Avatar’) it also reeks of “working title.” You may recall, though, that last fall a set of four titles, each apparently corresponding to one of the planned sequels, was leaked to the public via BBC News. Those titles, if you need a refresher, are ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’, ‘Avatar: The Seed Bearer’, ‘Avatar: The Tulkun Rider’, and ‘Avatar: The Quest for Eywa’.
But are these the real deal or a bit of fanwank that got blown out of proportion? Well, there’s been no real word on the subject since November, which could reasonably raise doubts about the titles’ legitimacy. But in the course of a larger interview with ET, James Cameron was asked about the titles. And in response, he actually confirmed them. Sort of.:
“I can neither confirm nor deny. All right, here’s what I’ll tell ya. Those titles are among titles that are in consideration. And no final decisions have been made yet.”
So those leaked titles are at least in the conversation. But it remains the case that none of the films has a final title, and some or all of these might not make it to release. That being said, ‘The Way of Water’ would certainly fit well with what we know of ‘Avatar 2’. It’s also worth noting that the fourth and fifth films have not yet been greenlit. So let’s assume the sake of argument that ‘The Way of Water’ and ‘The Seed Bearer’ are the final titles of the second and third films. Given that Cameron is still waiting for the go ahead to begin production on films four and five, it would definitely be a bit early to be married to a title.
James Cameron’s upcoming ‘Avatar’ sequels will see the return of original stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, and C.C.H. Pounder alongside newcomers such as Kate Winslet. Principle photography on ‘Avatar 2’ began in September of this year. Production on further sequels is expected to kick off once work on the second wraps. ‘Avatar 2’ is currently slated for release on December 18, 2020.
Despite his focus on directing the ‘Avatar’ sequels, Cameron is also attached to a pair of movies that are hitting screens this year. First up is ‘Alita: Battle Angel‘. ‘Alita’ was something of a passion project for Cameron, who spent nearly two decades developing the film before ceding the director’s chair to Robert Rodriguez. The other represents a homecoming of sorts, as Cameron is producing and co-writing ‘Terminator 6′, for which Tim Miller will serve as director.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on James Cameron’s upcoming ‘Avatar’ sequels and other projects as it becomes available!