James Cameron has been talking about making sequels to Avatar since just after the first film became the highest grossing movie ever. However, it's been a conversation for so long that you'd be forgiven for just believing it was never actually going to happen. And yet, James Cameron just announced that principal photography, which is covering the first two of four planned Avatar sequels, has wrapped. In a video posted to social media, Cameron said...
Today we're capturing some stunt scenes, but our principal cast are all wrapped. Sam, Zoe, Sigourney, Stephen Lang, Kate Winslet, they're done now but they gave us incredible performances and I can't tell you how proud I am of the work that they did on these films.
It's almost shocking to hear that most of the shooting for the next two Avatar films is actually done. I've been writing about them, and whether or not they would actually happen, for my entire time here at CinemaBlend but the conversation dates back nine years to when the original film arrived on screen. The sequels have been coming for so long that it's unbelievable to think that in just over two years, December of 2020, the first one will actually be here.
Part of the reason that the sequels took so long is that James Cameron's plans just kept getting grander and grander. Originally, Cameron planned for the entire Avatar story arc to be a trilogy, as so many film franchises are. This would have meant two more movies were on the way. However, two sequels became three, and then three became four, and now the plan is to have five Avatar movies total when all is said and done.
Whatever else might happen, it does look like we'll get those first three films, as the filming that James Cameron has been doing has been focused on the next two films in the series. The plan is to go back, after Avatar 3 is released and go into production on Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 together, just as is being done on 2 and 3 now.
Very little is known about the various sequels, beyond the fact that the second one will primarily take place in the oceans of Pandora. Some rumored titles have leaked that give the film the subtitle The Way of Water. If the titles are accurate, then Avatar 3 might then be called The Seed Bearer, which isn't a title that means anything in particular now, but might make sense after we see Avatar 2. We do know that Avatar 2 will pick up many years after the first film, with Neytiri and Jake Sully having had children who will become major parts of the story.
I honestly had sort of left the Avatar movies in the rear view, then I got to experience the Flights of Passage attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom last year and I'm sort of excited for the sequels again. We'll see if that's still the case in just over two years.