‘Avatar’ Sequel Shoot to Start in Late 2013; James Cameron Considering 48fps

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 2nd, 2013 at 5:55 am,

avatar sequels 48fps Avatar Sequel Shoot to Start in Late 2013; James Cameron Considering 48fps

A few months ago, we first got word that James Cameron’s long-awaited return to Pandora had been pushed back to 2015 at the earliest. Originally, Avatar 2 was scheduled for a December 2014 release with Avatar 3 to follow one year later but, following the 2015 timeframe update, fans started to wonder if Cameron was struggling to bring necessary sequel elements together – which would mean further delays might still be on the horizon.

However, a new report suggests that the director is still on-target for a 2015 release – given that he’s eying a late 2013 start date for back to back Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 filming.

The update comes from a recent conversation with New Zealand press (via The Film Stage), where Cameron offered a clearer picture of the Avatar sequel process – asserting that he wants the stories to be locked down by February 2013, so that shooting can begin later in the year. That is, assuming he can focus and avoid his “beautiful” New Zealand surroundings:

“Unfortunately it’s too damn distracting because it’s so beautiful [...] I want to get these scripts nailed down, I don’t want to be writing the movie in post production [...] We kind of did that on the first picture, I ended up cutting out a lot of scenes and so on and I don’t want to do that again.”

avatar sequels start date 570x320 Avatar Sequel Shoot to Start in Late 2013; James Cameron Considering 48fps

Cameron does not clarify whether Avatar 4 (an Avatar prequel) is included in the scripts that need to be nailed down. At one point, it was expected that the director was merely focusing on the back to back sequels but, now that the filmmaker is looking to post-Avatar series projects, with The Informationist, it’s possible that he’s attempting to hammer out all three scripts before stepping behind a camera (even if there are no set plans for Avatar 4). Of course, it’s also possible that Cameron’s Avatar prequel comments weren’t actually intended to drum-up speculation about further installments and were, instead, an attempt by the filmmaker to position Avatar 3 as a satisfying (and finite) cap to the series.

Cameron’s interest in 48fps is another element of the pre-production run-up that could have factored into the delay. In that same conversation with the New Zealand press, the director indicated that he’s got a watchful eye on Peter Jackson’s Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – to see if audiences react positively to 48fps viewing. While 48fps might sound like a no-brainer in our HD megapixel culture, many filmmakers believe photo-realistic visuals actually detract from the moviegoing experience, and test audience response to the format itself (not Jackson’s Hobbit film) has been somewhat mixed.

However, Cameron does see value in the format – considering it the next evolution of the 3D trend he helped pioneer:

“If there is acceptance of 48, then that will pave the way for Avatar [sequels] to take advantage of it [...] We charged out ahead on 3D with Avatar, now Peter’s doing it with the Hobbit. It takes that kind of bold move to make change.”

Andy Serkis as Gollum in The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey 570x347 Avatar Sequel Shoot to Start in Late 2013; James Cameron Considering 48fps

It’ll be interesting to see how general audiences respond to the 48fps visuals in The Hobbit but it’s hard to imagine that Cameron will merely go the direction of popular opinion – since he never balked from criticism of his push for immersive 3D.

As a result, unless Cameron isn’t pleased with the final 48fps Hobbit experience or doesn’t feel like it’s the right fit for Pandora, it’s likely that we will see Avatar 2 and 3 in the “lifelike” format.


Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future updates on Avatar as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 do not have set release dates.

Source: The West Australian (via The Film Stage & The Playlist)

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  1. I think for a movie visually striking as Avatar, it would be cool to see it in 48fps

    • second that thought

    • Moot Point, your eyes can process up to 60 fps. plus if you have good vision, you will never fully see what you are suppose to see, because you are already use to seeing better.

  2. I hope he uses 48fps. He was planning to use 60fps, but since that isn’t back compatible to 24 it would be a terrible idea. Imagine watching Avatar 30fps, no way. The backwards compatibility of 48fps is what makes it a perfect choice.

  3. Not sure about this. One of the things that I liked about Avatar was that it was really easy (for me, at least) to get immersed in the world Cameron had created, and I’m worried that using 48fps would ruin it. Guess I’m gonna have to see The Hobbit to judge that I guess.

  4. It’s interesting that Cameron admitted – at least by implication – the weaknesses of the first film’s script, but what did he expect, he banged it out in about three or four months instead of carefully fleshing it out and then honing and refining it BEFORE actual pre-production began.

    George Lucas did the same thing with Episodes II and III, shaping the story during those film’s respective post-production phases, which is also evidently what Cameron did with ‘Avatar’, and it showed, with both the latter two prequels and ‘Avatar’ ending up with great swathes of deleted material because the shooting script wasn’t nailed down first… it’s also why there’s so little actual deleted footage in Chris Nolan’s films, he gets it right before cameras roll, there’s a lesson in there!

  5. I’m interested to see what 48fps looks like! I hope I get the chance to check it out for myself.

  6. I’m really excited for these. I know Avatar gets a lot of crap, but I liked it a lot. I hadn’t been that emotionally invested while watching a movie (SPECIALLY a blockbuster) in a very long time. The story might not have been original, but the way it was told, and the way it was brought to life was incredible. Some people make it out to be a hollow CGI mess like Transformers: ROTF, but I strongly disagree.

    I hope Cameron focuses a little more on the plot this time around. We already know he’ll make the visuals spectacular. Can’t wait to see Zoe Saldana playing Neytiri again.

  7. 2015 will be a crazy movie year !!!

  8. Its funny, I think all those people that knock Avatar are the same ones who came out of the cinema praising it as the best thing theyve ever seen lol, its just a cool thing to do I guess, but the reality is its the biggest film of all time at the box office, you have to respect that, it must have done something right, for me its a stunningly beuatiful thing to watch, im sure the next one will up the level as well, so many good films coming out in a few years, cant wait!

  9. 48 fps.The environment of Pandora seems to be more likable that way.But as the predecessor was nothing less than perfect,older fps is enough.

  10. I thought he had already decided to do Avatar 3 in 60fps. I don’t see why that wouldn’t be able to be converted to 24fps. Just remove 6 out of every 10 frames. There must be some kind of pull-down technique to do that.

  11. Avatar. Did not do anything for me. It was neither visually stunning, or an original movie.

    My Career has taken me to virtually every stunning place this country has, I have seen both Majestic Beauty, and I have seen The Deadly Beauty of Storms.

    So seeing Avatar, was rather borning, because in the back of my mind, I have seen better, I have seen real.

    And I already sat through 3 hours of Dances with Wolves.

    • I agree 100%. I didn’t see Avatar in theaters because of the simple fact that people were shoving the hype down my throat left and right. When I did see it out of pure curiosity, I just said to myself “This is Pocahontas with blue monkeys as the native americans and humans in mechs as the colonists.” But it was like a poor adaption of that story because…the majority of the film is just eye candy.

      I don’t care how much money you make off the box office and how much money you put into a movie, I just want it to be really good.

  12. I admit James Cameron is a great director, but there is not orginality to his movies, just visual effect which are outstanding.

    Stories, blah.

    • I would say that Terminator was a fairly original idea. Abyss was a filmic first for underwater photography.

      The thing with Jim is that he is more fasinated with the TECH of movie making than with moives themselves.

      The stories he tells are just excuses for him to get his tech on.

      T1 & T2 set new benchmarks (at the time) for physical and computer effects, completely new diving tech was created for the Abyss, after Titanic Jim spent 10years working on his 3D tech ready for Avatar and it is still the best example of modern 3D tech (not see Life of Pi so can’t factor that in).

      Most 3D films currently released just use the format to chuck stuff at the audience, very few use it to try to create and immersive atmosphere and none have match Avatar in that regard.

      Jim loves TECH, you only have to look at the fact that he co-designed and built the sub he took to the bottom of the ocean. There wasn’t the tech to do what he wanted so just like the 3D tech for Avatar he went and created it.

      Maybe he should change his name to Stark lol

  13. And when did did FPS come into play. Each person can only process a set amount of visual stimulation.

  14. Looks like the 48FPS was a success at the Hobbit premiere. I was reading online at some of the early reviews and they are looking pretty good right now. One person at the premiere said, “The movie offers technological wizardry, thanks to a 48 frames-per-second format, twice the industry standard. Critics who saw a trailer earlier this year were unimpressed, but after a minute or two of adjusting, the higher resolution is eye-popping, similar to discovering HD television for the first time.” I am really exited now for movies to be done in the 48FPS format and I think Avatar with it’s scenery will be that much better

    • Was it a success? Or was it a sham? The point of FPS in a movie is to make it believeable, nothing more. Because in real life, you do not need to see life in framerates.

      Why, I guess I never found myself liking transformers, Lord of the Rings, Avatar and any movie like that. Just not my cup of tea.

      • They won’t really say due to the embargo(I think that’s what it’s called) restricting them to really review the movie until Monday/Tuesday. Judging from twitter though it seems like an epic experience. Sounds like Bryan Singer was really impressed with it. The biggest thing I am seeing is just getting used to the frame rate the first 5-10 minutes.

  15. I’d like to see James Cameron return to his roots and do a low budget indie movie. He has skill so it would be good see how much he’s learnt over the past few decades without any gadgets to play with. Take up the challenge of doing a film with no special effects James, go on for me.

    • I agree. JC needs to do some rated R movie to really show case his talent(combat situation).

  16. “Aliens” ….Best film he’s ever made.

    Thought I’d just put that out there.