The follow-up to James Cameron’s 2009 box office hit has now been established to release on Christmas day of 2017, with two more sequels set to come out in the consecutive years. Confirmed by Jim Gianopulus of 20th Century Fox, the movie scripts have all been finalized and Cameron is currently filming all 3 sequels simultaneously in his classic overly-ambitious nature.
The acclaimed film-maker had originally conceptualized a story spanning four sequels, but was only allowed to do three due to his contract. This was a difficult hurdle to overcome for Cameron, confessing in an interview with Associated Press that he had been having a tough time limiting the material to only three scripts. However the change compelled Cameron to be more ‘involved with his vision’, meaning that the director has no doubt put a lot of heart into the film, as well as meaning the release date needed to be pushed back from it’s initial projection of 2016.
“In the second and third films, which will be self-contained stories that also fulfil a greater story arc, we will not back off the throttle of ‘Avatar’s’ visual and emotional horsepower, and will continue to explore its themes and characters, which touched the hearts of audiences in all cultures around the world. I’m looking forward to returning to Pandora, a world where our imaginations can run wild,” said Cameron.
The plot for Avatar 2 takes place 8 years after the first movie, again following protagonists James Sully (played by Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). The film’s producer Jon Landau hinted at the sequel having more of a focus on the presence of humans on Pandora, and fans have been speculating that the film will take a look at the alien world’s water ecosystem since Cameron plunged to the bottom of Mariana’s Trench in 2012 and is now reportedly shooting scenes for the movie with underwater motion capture technology.
“There’s a fair bit of underwater stuff. It’s been inaccurately said that the second film takes place underwater. That’s not true,” clarified Cameron to NY Post. “There are underwater scenes and surface-water scenes having to do with indigenous ocean cultures that are distributed across the three films.”
“WETA (A Digital FX company) is working out underwater performance capture for underwater scenes,” said Landau. “It’s going to be like the Floating Mountains in the first movie. It’s not going to be all underwater; it’s going to be a place we go to, leave and come back to,”
Landau also noted that Avatar 2 will explore not only more of Na’vi culture, but the culture of various other creatures on the planet as well, opening up the cinematic world of Pandora to the audience in a completely new way.
The only sad news to come from this is that the highly regarded and seasoned composer James Horner, who had worked with Cameron on Aliens and Titanic as well as the first Avatar, has passed away. Cameron and Jon Landau have said that his death hasn’t stalled them, but it has been a huge blow to the whole team. “His music is what brough Pandora to life” agreed Cameron and Landau.