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James Cameron's four planned Avatar sequels -- that is not a typo -- raise a lot more questions than the director has answers. Mind you, he may HAVE the answers. But he doles them out in dribs and drabs, promising release dates and then pushing them back as he drifts around Pandora and strings his faithful audience in his wake. Sometimes, when Cameron drops a new piece of information on the planned Avatar sequels, it makes us scratch our heads. Like when he says the main villain of all four films will be Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang)... who we saw die in the first Avatar movie. Confirms Cameron:
The interesting conceit of the Avatar sequels is it's pretty much the same characters. There are new characters and a lot of new settings and creatures, so I'm taking characters you know and putting them in unfamiliar places and moving them on this greater journey. But it's not a whole bunch of new characters every time. There's not a new villain every time, which is interesting. Same guy. Same motherfucker through all four movies. He is so good and he just gets better. I know Stephen Lang is gonna knock this out of the park.
I'm not even sure what that means. Stephen Lang's character was shot in the chest, not once but twice, by Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) during the climactic battle between the villainous military colonel and Jake (Sam Worthington), the movie's reluctant hero. OK, fine. We might not have seen him actually die. He falls over. Here, relive the scene. It's been years since we've seen Avatar. I watched this scene and didn't remember a single moment of it:
James Cameron was speaking with Empire for an upcoming issue, and laying out some of his plans for the various Avatar movies. During that conversation, Cameron linked the drive to tell as many Avatar stories to the work of Peter Jackson, and his herculean efforts on the multi-film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. As Cameron colorfully explains:
I said 'It's your fault I'm doing this, motherfucker!' It's one big story. But I would say a little bit different from The Lord Of The Rings, which you knew was a trilogy and that allowed you to accept a sort of truncated ending for movies one and two and then a fulfillment. This is a greater narrative broken up into four complete stories.
This explains, sort of, why James Cameron plans to film ALL of the Avatar movies at once. We think. That plans changes often, as well. What we know, for sure, is that Avatar 2 is due in theaters on December 18, 2020, with Avatar 3 following in 2021, and Avatar 4 hitting in 2024. Seven years from now. Get your tickets today.