More Avatar stories are coming, we promise. Yes, we and James Cameron have been promising Avatar sequels for the last four damn years, and none of the movies have actually gone into production. But all signs currently point to not one, not two, but three Avatar movies going into production soon, and if that's not enough Pandora for you, four more stories are coming too. Except for these, you're actually going to have to read, and not just the Na'vi subtitles.
Fox announced today that Cameron has brought in author Steven Charles Gould to write four standalone Avatar novels, which will both be based upon the Avatar films and expand upon them, presumably in the way the official Star Wars novels deepened the mythology of the galaxy far, far away. Gould is most famous for the 1982 novel Jumper, which Fox adapted into the 2008 film version that made absolutely no one famous. That one starred Hayden Christensen, who of course starred in the Star Wars prequels… the connections are all revealing themselves! Here's what Cameron said about bringing Gould on board:
“Steven Gould is one of the shining lights in contemporary science fiction, and I’ve long admired the worlds and characters he’s created in his books and stories. We’re very fortunate to have Steven bring his formidable talents to the Avatar universe. He is already working closely with me and the screenwriters to flesh out the expanding world of Avatar.”
That mention of "screenwriters" in the above paragraph is the best news we've heard yet about the Avatar sequels, which may finally allow Cameron to get away from his megalomaniacal control over his screenplays and bring in people who know how to write dialogue that doesn't sound, well, like this:
And the screenwriters Cameron has brought in are no joke. First there's Josh Friedman who scripted War of the Worlds as well as several episodes of The Sarah Connor Chronicles. He'll be working alongside Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who made one of the most unexpectedly strong sci-fi films in recent years with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Shane Salerno, who wrote last year's Savages. Sure, nobody is necessarily going into an Avatar movie-- or a James Cameron movie, for that matter-- for the quality of the script, but dialogue and script beats have often been what kept Cameron's movies, Avatar included, from honest-to-God greatness. If he's finally figured out that it makes more sense for him to bring in other writers, that suggests he's learning from his mistakes-- and might allow the Avatar sequels to wring the potential out of Pandora we've been waiting for this entire time.
The first Avatar sequel is set to arrive in December 2016, with the second two each December after that. Are you ready for them?