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After years of expectations and promises, the Avatar sequels appear to truly be on the way to actually being made. Now, we have a bit of information about what the stories will actually be focused on.While we expected the sequels would continue the story of Jake Sully, the man who seemingly gave up his human life for one with the Na'vi, it appears that the films will actually be focused on his entire family. Recently Lon Landau of producer Lightstorm Entertainment explained...
At the center of each of our four movies will be the Sully family. Each sequel will play as a stand-alone movie. Each movie's story will come to its own conclusion... However, when looked at as a whole, the journey across all four movies will create an even larger connected epic saga for audiences around the world.
Jon Landau was speaking at CineEurope (via Deadline) when he made the statement. He doesn't elaborate on exactly what he means here, so we're left to speculate. Is he talking about the family that Jake Sully had as a human or the one he will build as a member of the Na'vi? The entire story of the first Avatar began when Jake Sully took over for his twin brother as part of the Avatar program on Pandora. We thought that would be the end of it, but maybe Jake's attempts to leave his human life behind will be more difficult if his family becomes part of the story. Alternatively, this could be a reference to Jake Sully starting a family, though now I'm wondering if such a thing is even possible as an Avatar.
It's also interesting to read that the four new films will all tell standalone stories. We're so used to major franchises telling long connected stories that the idea that the Avatar movies would not be doing that never came up. The reason James Cameron gave for the script writing process taking so long was that it was difficult to make all the scripts work together, which seemed to imply a continuous story.
While this gives us some ideas about what the themes of the new Avatar movies will be, it still leaves story specifics up in the air. All we really know is that the movie will focus more on the people than on the place where they are. This was an important decision for the filmmakers as it would make the story more relatable to everybody. According to Landau...
We always knew that Pandora was a place as diverse as Earth. At the heart of any movie are the characters. One of the strengths of great scripts are always the universal and relatable themes... There's no more relatable theme than family.
We'll get to see exactly how family becomes important in Avatar 2 when it hits theaters December 18, 2020.