‘Avatar 2′ Script Getting a Rewrite from ‘Sarah Connor Chronicles’ Creator

Published 2 years ago by

avatar 2 sequel rewrite Avatar 2 Script Getting a Rewrite from Sarah Connor Chronicles Creator

James Cameron’s Avatar was revered upon its immediate theatrical release for its cutting-edge 3D visuals and motion-capture animation, which resulted in the film securing a handful of technical Oscars for its accomplishments (including, for visual effects and art direction) – to mention nothing of the film’s $2.8 billion worldwide gross. However, Cameron’s efforts to reappropriate the (Antiquated? Old-School?) settlers vs. natives storyline – Dances with Wolves being a famous example from the last couple decades – in a futuristic other-worldy sci-fi context, did not go over as well.

It seems as though Cameron is somewhat aware that people won’t let him off so easy on Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, should he attempt to marry a solidly-constructed, yet derivative, narrative with stunning effects and imagery again. The King of the World… of big box office movie-making has spent the last couple years focused on refining the Avatar sequels’ scripts, saying that although he isn’t worried, Cameron also knows “I definitely have to deliver the goods.”

The Wrap is reporting that Cameron has now brought aboard Josh Friedman, to further assist him with rewriting and fine-turning the Avatar 2 screenplay, ahead of filming possibly getting underway later this year (at the earliest). Friedman did not immediately respond to The Wrap‘s request for a comment; meanwhile, Avatar producer Jon Landau offered a non-comment comment, by saying “I would not comment on ‘Avatar 2′ one way or the other way.” (Feel free to take a brief moment and wrap your brain around the world of evasive producers’ statements before reading on).

However, it makes sense for Cameron to bring someone like Friedman aboard – where it concerns the task of retooling the Avatar 2 script. Friedman is the creator of the cult TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, so Cameron already knows the former can be trusted to do something interesting with his original sci-fi creations (“interesting” here meaning “better than the 3rd/4th movie sequels to Terminator 1). Moreover, Friedman wrote the story for the dumb-but-fun Keanu Reeves’ sci-fi thriller Chain Reaction and he co-penned the script for director Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds adaptation – so, again, Friedman knows his way around big-concept sci-fi material.

Avatar Pandora Woodsprites 570x320 Avatar 2 Script Getting a Rewrite from Sarah Connor Chronicles Creator

Cameron is writing Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 together, but has already said that he is approaching each script as a separate story – so that Avatar 2 will have “a sense of conclusion, but a sense that the journey will continue” – rather than attempting to carry-over a narrative arc through the second and third films. It’s a smart decision on his part, given the spotty track record of success for previous genre blockbuster sequels that were constructed in such a fashion (see: Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest/At World’s End).

Similarly, Cameron’s method should allow Friedman to concentrate on refining the script for Avatar 2, without necessarily having to worry and get bogged down in setting up developments in Avatar 3; that also still leaves the door open for him to re-collaborate with Cameron on the third movie’s script thereafter, if the pair so chooses to do so. Hopefully, when all is said and done, the Avatar sequel will have a meaningful and well-crafted plot to go along with what are sure to be game-changing underwater performance capture sequences.


Avatar 2 is expected to begin principal photography by late 2013/early 2014 for a 2015 release date, so be sure and keep you eyes peeled for additional updates on the Screen Rant homepage over the forthcoming months.

Source: The Wrap

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  1. At this point, I don’t even know whether to care or not. This longer this film takes to get made, the less interested I am. Hurry James Cameron or move on to a new project.

    • I’m the same, not because of how long it’s taking but because the first one was completely underwhelming.

      At this point, I just wanna see what this underwater effect will look like so other studios can use and improve on it for their own movies.

      • That’s also a reason for me. I am in no way as big of a fan as others. And yes, Cameron spoke so highly about this new setting and here we are, what seeks years later and still no closer to anything new.

        • Which is a shame because I think as soon as WB and Marvel Studios see that effect, I can guarantee they’ll announce Aquaman and Namor The Sub-Mariner as their next big tent-pole releases.

          Until then, we’re just hanging around waiting for Cameron.

          • That is honestly one of the big reasons I am looking forward to this movie, it will pave the way for an awesome Aquaman movie!

  2. I’ll most likely watch it in theaters since I missed the first one and heard it was amazing on the big screen, but the visuals can only get you so far. The story in Avatar was pretty basic and nothing very special. It was a solid movie but not one I’d rush to the theaters to see the sequel of. It looks like they know that so let’s hope they pull through!

  3. I find it somewhat funny that people are now complaining that Cameron is taking “too long” to start shooting the sequel. I love that fact that he isn’t rushing anything. If he were rushing to get it made, then people would be complaining that he is a money grabber. He needs to take as much time as he needs to feel comfortable to start shooting the movie. And I actually had a feeling lonnggg ago that he might get someone to help him re-write the screenplay. But I have a feeling that he will do well on the sequel.

    • I’m only complaining because the first wasn’t very good and I just want this technology being created for the sequels to get out there so other studios can use it to much better effect and we can have some of the great movies we’ve always wanted with a better way of showing underwater scenes.

      I really don’t care if the movies turn out to be carefully crafted or lazily rushed together if I’m honest cause I know I won’t be seeing them until they’re on TV where I won’t have the feeling of wasting my money on a crap film.

      • You want them to rush to get the Avatar sequels into production so that the technology will be made for other studios to use? How f**king selfish of you. When they are ready, they will make the movie. They aren’t going to rush their production because of people like *you* who want their technology used in other films.

        • Selfish? How is that selfish. He’s not saying he wants to be the only one to see it and no one else. He can “hope” for whatever he wants. Just like I hope you take your meds and get a life, pal.

      • Dazz…. You have to understand that it takes TIME for any innovation to happen in technology. And for Cameron, that’s his selling point.

        You are being completely selfish and rude to those who actually love the film – like me. So no, they shouldn’t rush it, and they won’t.

        • Just stop being selfish Justin. Stop trying to keep Dazz away from the technology. Man, you’re so selfish trying to keep this tech for Avatar fans only. Soooooo selfish. Did I mention…. selfish?

  4. “Avatar 2 Script Getting a Rewrite from ‘Sarah Connor Chronicles’ Creator”

    What can go wrong ? x)

    • Have you seen the show? It was brilliant. If I could bring one show back from Oblivion, it would be Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

  5. I just don’t really care. The first movie was pretty weak in the story telling (Pick whichever movie reference you feel it closely resembles)and really only did so well just because how groundbreaking the sfx and 3d were. So where do you go with a sequel that is essentially based off amazing special effects? You break ground in underwater sequences to make something new that people want to see in theater. I imagine the story will once again be weak so I don’t really care.

  6. Here we are complaining that Avatar was a pretty lame story telling movie borrowing (or stealing) from all the other films like Dances with Wolves. Yet how many films copied The Matrix? How many films copied the buddy cop formula from films like 48 Hours and Lethal Weapon? How many superhero origin films do we need to see before we understand they are all the same? How about Die Hard? I mean, Under Seige 1 and 2, Executive Decision, Die Hard 2 to name a few from long ago. . . let alone Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down this year.

    Needless to say, this is blown way out of proportion and as a science fiction action film, Avatar is one of the best performers. Could the story have been better? Absolutely. But don’t sit here and complain about it being a rip off of something else without pointing to the other rip offs from other films. I don’t recall ever hearing James Cameron saying the film was going to light the world on fire with its story and plot beats. You knew what you were getting into upon seeing it.

    Having said that, Avatar 2 will be a vast improvement over the first in story. Why? Terminator 2 was over the first one. Proven track record.

    • Agreed completely, the film is full of cliches but its excecuted far better than most. Its the highest grossing film of all time, and an best picture nominee, it doesnt need peoples approval it has enough achievments on his resume

    • +1
      Brilliant … Just Brilliant. You nailed it right on the spot. That’s what I’ve been saying for YEARSSSSS! Very well done.

    • Perfect. We all knew the story was trite. But so did Cameron. Story was never the point of ‘Avatar’. This was an event movie and we were being introduced to something we had never seen before. Box Office numbers clearly indicate that, yup, we enjoyed the novelty.

      Sequel will be better in terms of script simply because the cat is out of the bag now. The extra time taken indicates this, so I’ll acquiesce to the pace and the clock of possibly the finest action director to ever exist. Frankly, I’m not qualified enough to argue with someone whose last two movies made $5 billion between them.

    • In complete agreement with your post, especially the last statement. Cameron has a very decent record when it comes to Part 2′s; T2 and Aliens were fantastic movies that were just able to build upon an established mythology. With that out of the way, Avatar 2 can just focus on driving the action forward, unlike the Matrix sequels that just added more convolution to the story.

      And who cares if the story ends up being derivative of other movies? Cameron can and has made those stories very good. when you boil it down:
      – The Terminator movies: Time traveling robots from the future
      – Aliens: Space soldiers vs aliens
      – Titanic: Your basic disaster movie (just happens to be based on a real event)
      – True Lies: Your standard action comedy
      He’s done these movies very well, I’ve enjoyed everything he’s put out to date.

      • Although I do agree with what you said, I love to play devil’s advocate.

        While pretty much every movie made in Hollywood today is based off of something else or a rip off, they add other things into the mix that don’t really let that standout.

        But with Avatar, Cameron didn’t even try to ‘cover it up’ (if you will) or add anything to make it less cliché and a rip off.

        Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree with you post. I’m just buddying up with the devil for a moment ;)

        • That’s very true, and that’s a point I neglected to bring up. I was trying to come off as being hopeful that now that he has gotten past trying to establish the world, he can focus on the story like he used to.

  7. I think most of the comments on this story will be complaints about Avatar 1, and not caring about the second. People love to hate, especially when something does well.

    Unoriginal story is not really a factor when it comes to a fun movie. Pacific Rim was as unoriginal as they come. So many cliches from the genre. It was basically a mix of Top Gun, Godzilla and the million other action/sci-fi movies that have a scientist no one believes until it’s too late and then he saves the day.

    Was it a fun movie though? Heck yeah. And so was Avatar, which is why I’ll be seeing this in the theatre.

  8. Wait, Avatar 2 will have a script?! No indian stories left to rob from, eh Cameron?

    “cutting-edge 3D visuals and motion-capture animation”

    I wouldn’t say that i like this 3d more than previous technology. With previous if i went on 3d movie i knew some s*** would be flying from screen to me. With Cameron, by the way thank you Cameron, so with Cameron’s 3D main titles are flying from screen and very few moments in some movies something different from screen. Thanks you Cameron, for your stupid 3D. I don’t want so see volume people inside the screen. And now practicly all movies are in 3D, and majority of the time you won’t even see volume people there, just flat ones. Thanks Cameron.
    Motion capture was the only thing that played good other VFX looked like s***. Dirt/water – s***; animals – not enough details, animation is crap; flying vehices – not enough details, and thus compositing looked awful.

    “$2.8 billion worldwide gross”

    Cameron was hyping this garbage waaay before it aired on big screens. And when i’ve read that only 15 minutes of the movie made journalists rejoice and name it best movie ever. I caught on this hype. I went to the cinema and was like “please, are you serious, could you show me those 15 minutes journalists saw?”
    Hype from journalists + new 3d(aka more hype) + Cameron’s name(that shoot boys’ and girls’ movies), means both genders would go to see it + it was in theaters for a few seasons + aslmost zero competition

  9. But Avatar wasn’t well executed. Not only was the film a gigantic list of cliches, but there were so many areas in the story where any sense of logic was thrown out the window for plot convenience. The characters were two-dimensional, with only one character having any semblance of an arc, while the film dragged on and on with it’s “hit you over the head” message. The problem is when you spend as much time and money on visuals as Cameron did, people are much less forgiving when it comes to cliched filmmaking. Avatar was hyped up to be some kind of life-changing cinematic experience, but it was nothing more than watching a long video game. It isn’t really that impressive that the film is 98% CGI. Entire movies are CGI now.

  10. We better see the K-9 and a Doctor cameo.

  11. Well, most of the people like to bash cameron because they dont want him there on the top, I still loved Avatar and curious about the sequels, No matter how many crap superhero, animated and adapted movies have came and gone but nobody has broken the box office records of Avatar(4 years) and Titanic(16 years) , its not easy to have 2 of your movies as top highest grossing of all time (I guess then most of people in world are either idiots or stupid and childish if they have liked these movies) , I think superhero genre is trend these days , no matter how many times you make origin story remake and sequels still could not beat theses two
    if we love crap like Avenger and Hunger Games then why not Avatar??

  12. By the time Avatar 2 and 3 are released will anyone still be interested? At the rate these films are being developed it will be like 2017 before we see any sign of them. Re-writing the script after more than two year already in development is slow even by Cameron’s standards…

  13. I really liked Avatar. A lot actually… but I don’t think it needs a sequel or two.

  14. Avatar=Pacific Rim. Both movies were weak on story but the visual effects were outstanding. I still liked them both but I also want a movie that has great visual effect with a great storyline. Ridley and Neill Blomkamp seems to bring those elements pretty well. If only we could great a Ridley/Blomkamp/Del Toro/Cameron team up for a great sci-fi movie, LOL

  15. Why not just let them make that TV movie for T:TSCC already?

  16. I think Avatar is the single most overrated film in the history of cinema. In no way does it deserve to be the #2 highest grossing film ever (nor does Titanic deserve to be #1). It was visually outstanding and well-executed, yes, I will give you that, but that does not make it an automatic classic like most people seem to believe. The plot was so weak, it ripped off every Indian vs. settler story ever! I realize everything’s a rip-off of something in Hollywood, at least some of them at least try to be original, but the only ORIGINAL thing Cameron did with the plot of Avatar is turn the Indians into aliens. I’ll probably get dragged to the sequel, and I, in all likelihood, will have the same opinion on Avatar 2 as I did Avatar 1.

  17. Avatar ushered in 3D and with its wild success cemented 3D
    as a new standard of distribution along with higher ticket
    prices not only for 3D but the 2D versions of movies.

    I am not a fan of 3D and the trend and find it inferior
    to movies shot on film stock and now when I think
    of Avatar I think of the effects it had on film
    and effects I wish never had happened.

    Avatar as a film, for what it was, was good.
    As a seminal event in film history it was great.
    A changing of the landscape as few others have.

    • I have a feeling that Cameron will now experiment with HFR/3D like Peter Jackson did. I hope not because since a lot of Avatar was CGI stuff it would make the film look wierd/fake but then again Cameron might take it to a whole new level.

      • Cameron is proud of being on the cutting edge
        of film technology and is not one to do something at
        a level someone else has already and I expect he already
        has a magic hat with new tricks we have not seen as
        yet that he will be putting on display in Avatar 2.

      • He already talked about doing HFR 3D for the Avatar sequels.

        I hope he chooses 60fps instead of 48fps.

  18. Avatar is overrated garbage. But bc he’s James Cameron, he could film a guy taking a dump for three hours in 3D, and it would still make a billion dollars.

  19. Well, most of the people like to bash cameron because they dont want him there on the top, I still loved Avatar and curious about the sequels, No matter how many crap superhero, animated and adapted movies have came and gone but nobody has broken the box office records of Avatar(4 years) and Titanic(16 years) , its not easy to have 2 of your movies as top highest grossing of all time. I think superhero genre is trend these days , no matter how many times you make origin story remake and sequels still could not beat theses two
    if we love crap like Avenger and Hunger Games then why not Avatar??

    • Love the movie myself but I am not a fan of 3D tears your eyes out and specs uncomfortable. Will go see all Avatar sequels in 2D.

  20. With star wars coming out, and the stand alone movies like boba fett,and star trek 3, I really could care less. Then the matrix and a rebooted terminator, yaaawwwwn. Forget about it