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Avatar 2’s James Cameron Reveals Key Way The Sequels Will Be Different From The Original

Sam Worthington sits in front of his Na'vi tank in Avatar.
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

If everything goes according to plan, in one year's time we finally all be able to sit down and watch Avatar 2. Of course, if things had gone according to plan previously then we would all have seen that movie already, and probably Avatar 3 as well. Still, while the movies have continued to see unfortunate delays, lots of fans will certainly be excited to return to the land of Pandora. Although, it turns out that won't be the only planet that we visit in the upcoming sequels. At some point, the story will also show us what earth looks like in this universe.

In a conversation between directors of epic films, James Cameron had a chat with Dune director Denis Villeneuve for Variety where the two discussed the processes behind their movies. It turns out the two franchises will have something in common. While Dune is primarily focused on a single world, it takes place across multiple planets, and Avatar will be somewhat similar, as it will take the story to earth eventually. Cameron explains...

Well, it was a challenging decision because I either wanted to do it right, or just not even do it. I just made this – I guess, strange – decision that everything that I needed to say artistically about the things that were important to me, I could say within the framework of the universe that I knew it could be. Just like Dune takes place across worlds, the later Avatar's take place across...certainly across two worlds, because some of it takes place on Earth as the story evolves, and different biomes within.

James Cameron explains that earth was, in many ways, the inspiration for Pandora. So often in science fiction the alien worlds we see only have one eco system. We see desert planets like Arrakis or Tatooine or frozen worlds like Hoth. 

Pandora, like earth, has multiple ecosystems, and we know the plan for the franchise is for the new movies to explore them all. While the first film kept us mostly in a jungle, Avatar 2 will be exploring the oceans. But we will also see what at least one other world looks like in this universe.

It will certainly be interesting to see what earth looks like in the time of the Avatar movies. In the first movie the only humans we see are part of a business enterprise that has particular plans for the planet. We don't really know just how representative of modern humans they actually are. Is Earth a capitalist hellscape on the whole, or is it just these people?

It's unclear exactly when we will see earth in the Avatar sequels. James Cameron says the planet will come up in the "later" movies, which would seem to imply we won't see it until maybe the back half of the planned four films. Of course, at this point, more than a decade after the first movie, they all qualify as "later" so maybe we will see something in Avatar 2

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.