And although he always had sequels in mind, Cameron predicted that moviegoers might forget about the franchise when the sequels were finally ready.
James Cameron predicted that ‘Avatar’ would be forgotten about by the time its sequels came out
The Avatar sequel, Way of the Water, will be making its debut in December of this year more than a decade after its predecessor. Despite the long wait, Cameron asserted that the Avatar films aren’t exactly late. Instead, he made an argument that the sequels are coming right on time.
“People don’t really understand the scope and complexity of the process. It’s like making two and a half big animated films. A typical big animated film takes about four years, so, if you do the math on that, we’re kind of right on schedule for December 2021,” Cameron once said in an interview with Variety.
In a 2010 interview with Collider, Cameron expressed a desire to give breathing room between the original film and its sequel. He also acknowledged the possibility of audiences forgetting the Avatar films due to the time gap.
“There’s going to be a natural breathing room. People will have forgotten about Avatar, by the time we get a sequel done, and then they’ll go, ‘Oh, Avatar. Yeah, that would be cool.’ It’s not like Iron Man 2, coming out the year after Iron Man 1. It ain’t going to work that way,” he said.
James Cameron might not direct the last two ‘Avatar’ films
Cameron has already directed the next two Avatar projects that are heading to theaters. But the project isn’t expected to end in a trilogy. The Terminator filmmaker has two more Avatar movies in mind for a total of five films. But in an interview with Empire, he revealed he’s strongly considering handing off the reigns to someone else.
“I’ve got some other things I’m developing as well that are exciting,” he said. “I think eventually over time – I don’t know if that’s after three or after four – I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over, so I can go do some other stuff that I’m also interested in. Or maybe not. I don’t know.”
With that said, however, Cameron would be very excited to get his hands on the fourth Avatar movie. But the film’s potential profitability also played a part in ensuring that happens.
“Movie four is a corker. It’s a motherf*****. I actually hope I get to make it. But it depends on market forces. Three is in the can so it’s coming out regardless. I really hope that we get to make four and five because it’s one big story, ultimately,” he added.
James Cameron feels the ‘Avatar’ sequels are a big roll of the dice because they’re being released in a new world
A lot has happened since Avatar’s 2009 debut. And because of how much has changed since then, the Titanic director acknowledged that the Avatar sequels are a bit of a gamble. Not only because of the new ways viewers are consuming content, but due to other uncontrollable forces as well.
“The big issue is: Are we going to make any damn money?” Cameron once said to Entertainment Weekly about the sequels. “We’re in a new world post-COVID, post-streaming. Maybe those [box office] numbers will never be seen again. Who knows? It’s all a big roll of the dice.”