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Hollywood has produced some iconic actor/director partnerships over the years. From Christopher Nolan's work with Michael Caine that began with Batman Begins to Martin Scorsese's work with Leonardo DiCaprio that started with Gangs of New York, some filmmakers and performers just go together. One such combination was the partnership between James Cameron and the late Bill Paxton, and the filmmaker recently came out and lamented the fact that Paxton's recent death has prevented him from finding a place for the actor in one of his upcoming Avatar sequels. Cameron explained:
Of course recently, I was staring down the barrel of four more Avatar films and I was thinking of a good place, a good fit for Bill. Then, of course, he died unexpectedly before I made a presentation to him. That denied us that next chance to work together. I would have loved to have continued working with Bill and I'm sure he felt the same way.
James Cameron has made no secret of the fact that he has wanted to take his time and get the next four Avatar films right. That has allowed technology to catch up with his vision for the world of Pandora, and it has given him some extra breathing room with regard to cracking the story. However, the obvious downside is that by waiting so long to enter production, Bill Paxton had already passed away before he could get him on-camera alongside Jake Sully -- which is something that nobody could've anticipated.
In many ways, Bill Paxton was arguably James Cameron's good luck charm on some of his best movies. Their partnership dated all the way back to the very first entry in The Terminator franchise and extended through iconic films like True Lies and Titanic. In fact, it was Bill Paxton who uttered arguably the most iconic lines in Cameron's beloved 1986 Alien sequel, Aliens.
This situation naturally raises specific questions about why Bill Paxton wasn't cast in the first Avatar film in the first place. Elsewhere in his interview with EW, the director explained that he couldn't remember why Paxton wasn't included in the original movie, but that there was definitely a reason for his absence, saying:
I don't remember what happened there. I don't think there was a part that fit him well. Otherwise, I would have loved to have him involved.
CinemaBlend will keep you updated with more information related to the future of the Avatar franchise as new details are made available to us. The next installment in the Pandora-based series is currently slated to debut in theaters on December 18, 2020; here's everything that we now know about the long-awaited Avatar sequel!