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After Avatar became the high-grossing movie of all time worldwide in the final weeks of 2009 and early into 2010, it wasn't shocking to learn that James Cameron would work on a sequel. Since then, four more movies have been green-lit, making the Avatar saga last across five movies total, but seven years later after the first movie's release, we're still awaiting the next installment. However, there's the saying that good things come to those who wait, and according to Sigourney Weaver, the next three Avatar scripts improve on the original and then some.
While speaking with Variety about her new movie, A Monster Calls, Sigourney Weaver mentioned that because the first Avatar took care of all the setup and laying of groundwork, the sequels allow James Cameron to fully let loose. She stated:
In my opinion, the three scripts I've read so far are many times more amazing than the first one in terms of their scope. He did a lot of the heavy lifting in the first movie, establishing the family and the relationships and the world, and now he really gets to play.
While this doesn't provide any new information regarding what any of these upcoming Avatar movies will be about, it is somewhat comforting to know that they won't feel as constrained as the first movie. Although 2009's Avatar was a visual effects beauty, it was followed a fairly cookie-cutter plot formula, harkening back to Pocahontas and Dances with Wolves. Also, as with any first movie in a series, it had to spend a lot of time establishing the "universe," which in this case meant setting up the wonders of Pandora, showing why humans were on that planet, the technology in the future, etc. Now that that business is taken of, the next movies have more freedom to travel through new territory and go even crazier with certain elements.
Like Weaver said, Avatar spent time establishing the families in this world, but the next movies will still very much be family-focused, specifically with Jake Sully, Neytiri and their children. At the end of Avatar, Jake's mind was permanently transferred to his avatar Na'vi body before his human body died, so he lives among Pandora's native race as one of them. As for Weaver's character, Dr. Grace Augustine, she died near the Tree of Souls, but it's been confirmed that the actress will return in the sequels. That said, it's unclear whether Grace Augustine will be resurrected or if Weaver will appear in some other capacity.