Wait, you’re telling me Avatar 2 is actually a real thing, and not just one of James Cameron’s years-long underwater fever dreams? TheWrap reports Cameron has landed a screenwriter for the upcoming sequel, and he’s keeping it within the “James Cameron project family.” Josh Friedman, the creator of the fan-favorite Fox spinoff series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, has been tapped to write the script for what we’d like to call “the highest-grossing film in the future of Hollywood.” That’s not exactly erroneous, is it?
It’s worth noting that this news comes from a source for the website, with no comments coming from any official reps. Neither 20th Century Fox nor Friedman issued any statements, and the only thing the head of Cameron’s production company Lightstorm Entertainment had to say was, “I would not comment on Avatar 2 one way or the other way.” But we’re treating this like the exciting news that it is, since Cameron hadn’t shown any non-verbal signs that an Avatar sequel was actually going to be made in our lifetimes. (Some of you may have hoped it would stay that way.)
Friedman is a great choice for the job, as he is connected to both Cameron and Fox. Beyond Sarah Connor Chronicles, Friedman was also a consulting producer on the network’s comedic drama The Finder. He also wrote the pilot adapting Joe Hill’s horror fantasy comic Locke & Key for Fox, a series that Friedman would still be working on if the TV gods had any sense. But that’s just television. On the film front, Friedman wrote the screenplays for Stephen Spielberg’s reworking of War of the Worlds and Brian De Palma’s muddled retelling of The Black Dahlia. I’m not sure which of all these projects is most exemplary of Friedman’s work as a writer, but he appears to be capable of telling a humanity-driven story taking place in the midst of a larger-than-life world event. And considering the plethora of lawsuits that claimed Cameron’s Avatar stole story ideas from a variety of sources, Friedman actually has something of an advantage in tackling this second film. All he has to do is refrain from obviously plagiarizing other people’s material. Simple!
Amassing over $2.8 billion worldwide, Avatar is the most successful movie ever, and Friedman has his work cut out for him. Luckily, Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington (among others, assumedly) are set to reprise their roles for the sequel, so it’s not like the script will be formed from a blank slate.
Avatar 2 is already set for a release in 2015, but since that would only be 6 years since Cameron’s last film, don’t mark that date in stone.
In the meantime, check out everything wrong with Avatar in the amusing video below.