There are few film properties that make a big enough splash with their first installment to warrant not one, or two, but three follow-ups forming the legendary ‘quadrilogy.’ James Cameron’s Avatar was enough of a commercial and technical success that no one batted an eye when Sigourney Weaver claimed that three sequels were being filmed back-to-back.

Unfortunately for those already packing for a fourth trip to Pandora, the films’ producer Jon Landau has now confirmed that for the time being, only Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 are being planned.

Whether Weaver (who through time-travel or other sci-fi means is set to return in the sequels) initially misspoke about the number of films being shot back-to-back, or her comments reflect Cameron’s lofty, but not concrete, hopes for the series is impossible to know. What is for sure is that as of this writing, Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 are set to be filmed together, with expected releases a year apart. With the latest estimates placing the first possible release as no earlier than 2015, though, things could change before then.

The confirmation comes from producer Jon Landau, who touched on the current state of Avatar production in an interview with Courier Post Online. While fans are no doubt hoping for a confirmation that Avatar films, television series and theme parks are all on the table, the truth is far smaller in scale:

“We doing two back-to-back, but not a third.”

Even if Avatar 4 is being outlined by Cameron as merely a possibility, it’s probably best for all involved if the focus is kept to something more achievable. Say, developing two of presumably the most advanced and complex films ever made, poised to become two of the highest-grossing films of all time? Even a director as bold as Peter Jackson, whose WETA special effects house will likely assist Cameron in bringing Pandora oceans to life, only bit off three consecutive shoots with actual sets and existing landscapes to film against. In Cameron’s case, committing to just twice the task of making the first Avatar seems like a wise move. Nevertheless, Landau’s comments will come as a disappointment to many blue-face-painted enthusiasts.

It’s strange to think of any fans being genuinely disappointed that their favorite film only has two, not three sequels in production, but Avatar was no regular film. The unbridled affection it earned wasn’t confined to those who paid to see the film, but its director as well. Cameron has since restructured his production company to no longer focus on producing other scripts, explaining that from here on out he is without a doubt “in the Avatar business.” That kind of sentiment from a writer/director is always strange, but given Cameron’s passions behind the camera and beyond, Pandora seems like a suitable canvas for the foreseeable future.

As an active environmentalist documentarian and advocate it’s easy to see how Avatar 2 and 3 will highlight potential threats that our own oceans have and could face, but neither Cameron or Landau are overlooking their main priority: making enjoyable movies. Cameron has stated that the sequels will be entertaining before anything else, and Landau hopes to avoid the usual dragging plots and cliffhangers of serialized films by making each entry as complete a story as the original Avatar.

How do Landau’s words change your expectations for the series, if at all? And assuming Avatar 2 and 3 are nearly as successful as the original, is it safe to assume that 4, 5 and 6 won’t be far behind? Sound off in the comments.

We’ll keep you up to date on any Avatar 2 details as they arrive.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: CourierPostOnline (via Latino-Review)