Much has happened in the world of blockbuster movies since James Cameron’s pioneering sci-fi adventure Avatar was released at the end of 2009, including an unstoppable wave of superhero films, an entire Hobbit trilogy, and the rejuvenation of the Star Wars saga. But Avatar remains the biggest box office draw of all time, and the long-promised sequels will soon be on their way. Now Cameron has provided an update as to their status.
Speaking to , Cameron explained that the decision to shoot no fewer than three sequels back-to-back had meant a lengthy pre-production process. “I’m in the process of doing another pass through all three scripts right now,” he said. “Just refining. That’s in parallel with the design process. The design process is very mature at this point. We’ve been designing for about a year and a half. All the characters, settings, and creatures are all pretty much [set].”
When asked if it had been an easier process to bring the next film to the screen after the complexity of the first one, Cameron admitted it hadn’t. “No, because you have to challenge yourself,” he said. “Obviously, expectations are going to be very high on these films, especially on Avatar 2, to make sure it wasn’t just some big fluke the first time. So we’ve got to deliver. I’ve created a nice rod for my own back, so they say.”
Avatar 2 is currently scheduled for a December 2017 release. The first film earned $2.7 billion worldwide, making it the most successful movie ever made in terms of box office spend, ahead of Titanic which was also directed by Cameron..
In October, that Cameron’s adaptation of the classic manga Battle Angel: Alita was moving ahead, with Sin City‘s Robert Rodriguez directing from Cameron’s script. The film has been in development for many years, but Cameron’s decision to make more Avatar movies had meant giving it to another director. “This project is near and dear to me, and there’s nobody I trust more than Robert, with his technical virtuosity and rebel style, to take over the directing reins,” Cameron said. “We’re looking forward to learning a lot from each other while we make a kick-ass epic.”