Avatar is the biggest movie of all time and that means Fox is automatically in kind of a rush to get another one out there earning big dollars, but when it comes to Avatar 2 James Cameron will get to it when he gets to it... if he gets to it. It may not even be his next movie.

We first heard rumblings of this back in February here when rumors started circulating that James Cameron might prefer to start making movies about deep sea diving again. Then later here Fox head honcho Rupert Murdoch cautioned that Avatar 2 may happen later rather than sooner. Now Cameron’s people seem to think the same. His longtime producer John Landau tells io9 that he may push Avatar 2 to the back burner and work on something else first.

Landau’s explanation for why this might happen seems a little vague. He says they have to sit down with Fox and “work out a common philosophy” on the next film. James Cameron has just made Fox the biggest movie of all time. You’d think their philosophy would be to give him whatever he wants to do anything he wants whenever he wants to do it. What’s to discuss?

Another big issue here is the script. Avatar 2 doesn’t have one and it sounds like Cameron’s waiting to see what they come up with. Landau says he’ll pick his next movie based on whichever project has the best script, whether that will be Avatar 2 remains to be seen. Presumably Cameron’s writing it, as he did the last one, so if Avatar 2 isn’t the best available script… isn’t that kind of his fault? Shouldn’t he just write something good? But word is that he won’t go into production on a sequel unless the script is excellent. If it isn’t… does that mean Avatar 2 will never happen? Will he fire himself as a writer? It’s a confusing notion.

Cameron also has that script based on the Battle Angel Alita anime series which he was supposed to do something with, a long, long time ago. That could be a contender for his next project, or it could be The Dive, a movie about underwater free-divers. If you know anything about Cameron, you’re probably betting he’ll drop both of those far more interesting sci-fi projects to do The Dive after which he’ll forget either Avatar or Battle Angel exists and join the staff of National Geographic as an underwater photographer. That’s pretty much what happened after Titanic and with The Dive out there to lure him back into a submarine I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Avatar 2, well, never.

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