Avatar to be a 3D trilogy
Media news to hand – Avatar is to be expanded to a trilogy with the first sequel due to be shown in cinemas in December 2014. The second sequel will follow in December 2015. 20th Century Fox announced earlier this week that James Cameron will make these two 3D movies his next film projects. Production should start late in 2011.
Cameron will decide whether to shoot the films back-to-back after he completes the scripts. The sci-fi blockbuster Avatar, set on distant Pandora, was the highest ever grossing movie blockbuster taking US$1.8 billion (A$2.85 billion) at the box office worldwide.
“In the second and third films, which will be self-contained stories that also fulfill a greater story arc, we will not back off the throttle of Avatar’s visual and emotional horsepower, and will continue to explore its themes and characters, which touched the hearts of audiences in all cultures around the world,” Cameron said in a news release.
“I’m looking forward to returning to Pandora, a world where our imaginations can run wild.”
Cameron is said to have been unsure about what he would do next, telling reporters as recently as last week that he had not decided whether to shoot another film before returning to his Avatar saga. He attended an event a week ago to demonstrate the technology used to make Avatar and speculated about how long it might be until the sequel would be in movie theatres.
“I made two very effective sequels in my career. One was Aliens, and one was Terminator 2. Aliens came out seven years after the first film. Terminator 2, seven years after the first film. I’m not saying that we’re planning on seven years,” Cameron said of Avatar.
If Cameron meets the 2014 deadline, it will be just five years after Avatar arrived last December.
For those who haven’t seen Avatar, it pursues the adventures of a man in alien form (Sam Worthington) who falls for a two metre, blue-skinned native (Zoe Saldana) of the distant moon Pandora. This is where greedy humans wage war over the land’s natural resources. With the sequel could feature deep-sea exploration with some of the action in the moon’s oceans. Cameron would not reveal plot details.
“That’s classified,” Cameron said.
Jon Landau, Cameron’s producing partner, said last week that they would only proceed with an Avatar sequel when the script and story were right.
“Jim has done a couple of sequels in his career, and both times he’s done them, I would argue they lived up to at least what the first movies were,” Landau said.
The studio was anxious to get back into the Avatar business.
“We had no higher priority, and can feel no greater joy, than enabling Jim to continue and expand his vision of the world of Avatar,” Fox studio bosses Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman said in a statement.
Will Sam Worthington be cast in the Avatar sequels?
So far there has been no indication that Australian actor Sam Worthington, who appeared in the first film, would be contracted for the two sequels.
But one industry insider said: “The whole story was built around Jake (Worthington’s character) – it’s hard to see where Cameron can take it without him.”
Worthington has previously expressed interest in appearing in the sequels. Why wouldn’t he? In March this year, Worthington made this statement –
“The plan was that if it made a billion we’d give an undertaking but we’d only do it if it challenged Jim.”
Worthington’s LA-based publicists, 42West, did not respond to questions yesterday.
I guess we will all have to wait to see just who will star in the two 3D Avatar sequels.
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