James Cameron Says ‘Avatar’ Sequel Scripts Are Nearly Complete

Published 1 year ago by

Jake with gun in Avatar James Cameron Says Avatar Sequel Scripts Are Nearly Complete

Now that five years have passed since moviegoers last took a trip to the ultimate holiday destination of Pandora in James Cameron’s sci-fi epic Avatar, it can be easy to forget that there are three sequels currently in the works, set to be shot back-to-back beginning this fall. It’s lucky that there’s still plenty of planet left to explore.

There aren’t many filmmakers who could wrangle a studio green light for three big-budget sequels so far in advance, but since Avatar remains the highest-grossing movie of all time and the #2 spot is held by another Cameron movie, Twentieth Century Fox is understandably being quite accommodating.

Avatar famously took 14 years from its original conception to its release, as Cameron waited for technology to catch up with his ambition, and expanding the movie universe for the sequels has also been a lengthy process as Cameron oversees creature design and the further construction of Pandora’s fictional ecosystem.

Speaking in a recent Reddit AMA, Cameron gave an update on the scripts for Avatar 2, Avatar 3 and Avatar 4, assuring fans that pre-production for all of them is in full swing.

“The second, third and fourth films all go into production simultaneously. They’re essentially all in preproduction now, because we are designing creatures, settings, and characters that span all three films. And we should be finished with all three scripts within the next, I would say, six weeks.

“There’s always pressure, whether it’s a new film or whether it’s a sequel, to entertain and amaze an audience. I’ve felt that pressure my entire career, so there’s nothing new there. The biggest pressure I feel right now is cutting out things I love to get the film down to a length that is affordable. There hasn’t been a problem finding new and wonderful things to include in the movie.”

The way Cameron describes the shooting schedule for the sequels implies that he plans to film scenes for Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 at the same time as Avatar 2, rather than producing each movie in strict sequence, which could make for a strong tie between the plots of the three sequels. Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington and Stephen Lang will all reprise their roles in all three of the sequels, which suggests that Avatar 2-4 will have one huge over-arching story rather than being a series of standalone tales set on Pandora.

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze in Batman and Robin 570x294 James Cameron Says Avatar Sequel Scripts Are Nearly Complete

Those who have been following Avatar developments closely may remember the rumor that Arnold Schwarzenegger, the face of Cameron’s Terminator franchise, would be playing the villain in Avatar 2. Fox denied the rumors at the time, and Cameron has now chimed in to say that there isn’t really a Schwarzenegger-shaped hole in the scripts.

“As of right now, he and I have not discussed it, and I don’t see a role as the scripts are coming together that would be appropriate for him, so I would say probably not.”

Aside from the return of former characters (both confirmed and rumored), there have yet to be any new casting announcements for the Avatar sequels. Any of the actors from Avatar could feasibly reprise their roles, since Cameron has said that he never really considers a character to be permanently dead in a sci-fi franchise, and this is especially true on a planet where it’s possible to shift someone’s consciousness from one body to another.

With the scripts nearly complete it looks like Avatar 2 and the other sequels are still on track to begin filming this fall, and the next movie is set to take place largely underwater. But will humans continue to play the villains, or are there other threats on the horizon?


Avatar 2 is expected to reach theaters in December 2016, followed by Avatar 3 in 2017 and Avatar 4 in 2018.

Source: Reddit (via THR)

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. Great News, can’t wait for the filming to start.

  2. I am looking forward to the sequels. I am also looking forward to seeing the first “this is just a money grab by Cameron” comment on here.

    How is it a money grab when making movies is what Cameron does for a living?

    • Plus it helps fund his interests, such as deep sea exploration. Which is great because I think he’ll be the reason we finally learn more about our oceans.

      Doesn’t mean his movies since Terminator 2 have been great or enjoyable (they haven’t, my god, were they boring) but I guess the masses like throwing their money at whatever’s being hyped the most, justifiably or otherwise and if it helps fund scientific research then I can’t begrudge that.

      Will I watch the Avatar sequels? No, the first was lazy, boring, way too long (could’ve easily cut around 90 minutes of the movie) and even the visuals looked amazing if you hadn’t already played videogames that looked just as – if not more – stunning to look at.

      The film basically exists only to show off 3D camera technology and the next one will exist to show off a more realistic underwater setting that future studios will use to better effect as the technology improves over time. They’re basically tech demos but with a story tacked on to justify releasing them for at least £10 a ticket in 3D.

      • you need a new brain because avatar was not lazy, boring, and too long.

  3. Why 1st one was crap

    • No it isn’t.

      Also, if you don’t like the movie, why bother clicking this link just to spew your garbage comment?

      • dude let that fan give his opinion and put a lid on it. avatar technologically was
        a great advancement in film but the man has a point, the story was not all that.
        it was dances with wolves in outerspace and got beat by a very meek grossing film
        at the academy awards as a result.

        • People have the right to an opinion, when they choose to express that opinion it becomes a responsibility. Something the internet, and society as a whole, could use a lot more of: personal responsibility. What we don’t need are more apologists for people spewing ignorance. Because he didn’t “have a point”, he stated an opinion in about as trollish a manner as possible.

          If your grand “opinion”/ addition to a thread amounts to little more (or, in this case, NOTHING more) constructive than “it sucks”, then you deserve to get called out for it. If he has a “right” to offer his “opinion” then to say someone else doesn’t have the right to tell him off for using ignorant means to express that opinion is just being hypocritical. And hypocrisy is another thing the world has enough of, too. So make sure to find that lid for yourself next time…

    • It wasn’t as was evidenced by the fact in has made billions worldwide.

      Now before you go and try backing up your opinion by stating that a movie doesn’t have to be “good” to make money……Well that is true (points to Transformers 2). But unlike Transformers, Avatar got excellent reviews from BOTH critics and the general public (kind of like Avengers ;) )

      If a movie is truly good and everyone likes it, it’s gonna make money. period.

      And last……you are entitled to your opinion and not every person is going to like something so you can dislike it, that’s your choice. But you not liking it doesn’t make it a bad movie.

      • Critics didn’t seem praise the story telling from what I read, and the majority of the general audience seem to dislike it heavily these days. I thought it was an okay film, but there was honestly nothing new about the plot.

        • Critics liked it. It might not have had THE absolute best story but it was good with spectacular visuals and great action regardless.

          I also don’t know where you get the idea the general movie audience (same ones who paid to go see it multiple times) that pushed it into the billions somehow now hates it? That makes no sense.

          And last…you are aware that there are no, “new” plots right? There are all told about 20 plots you can fit every single movie (or book) into. Star Wars wasn’t original either but no one seemed to b**** about that one. The names may change but the plots remain the same. So Cameron borrowed from “Dances With Wolves” and mashed it together with some SciFi with a few extras? It did have some unique points all its own and was worth the price of admission.

          • No, it did not worth the price of admission.

  4. Isn’t the next one going to be like The little mermaid in space 3,000?

  5. joke aside. Im not seeing this. Not rather or not the first one was good. Not rather or not it made more money then it desserved. But because AVATAR is the reason why hollywood trys so hard to jam 3D down every one’s throats. Why they are working so hard force every movie to be in 3D when it doesn’t even need it. If AVATAR was never made then hollywood would of never turned 3D into the most annoying cash grab ever made. 3D would be used just as it was before AVATAR. Casually.

  6. Fern Gully II ?

    • Actually it would be Ferngully 3, and yes I own Ferngully 2 XD

  7. Cameron is infamous for his movie delays. Titanic & Avatar1 were delayed a couple of months back for re-shoots and post-production CGI.

    so I wouldn’t be surprised if these 3 new Avatar movies gets pushed back too.

  8. 5 years is not until December. Its only been roughly 4 years and 4 months since the movie came out. 8 months is a lot of time to round to 5 years since Avatar released. Closer to 4 year mark.