James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ Sequels Are His Only Focus

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 23rd, 2013 at 9:27 am,


Cameron to focus on Avatar sequels 2 James Camerons Avatar Sequels Are His Only Focus

People looking forward to James Cameron making films outside of the world of Avatar are going to be very disappointed. The famed Titanic director has announced that he has disbanded the development arm of his production company and wants to focus solely on Avatarrelated movies (specifically Avatar 2 & 3). So fans who were hoping to see Cameron finally make Battle Angel, True Lies 2 or even more Aliens and/or Terminator films are going to feel very, very deflated with the news that he intends to stay on Pandora.

Cameron has never been one to play the Hollywood game, and this latest move appears to be a way of giving him the freedom to experiment with technology without having to make any artistic compromises.

Cameron was at the Beijing International Film Festival, where his Oscar-winning Titanic was being screened, when he was asked by The New York Times about his future film projects. The director responded:

“Last year I basically completely disbanded my production company’s development arm. So I’m not interested in developing anything. I’m in the Avatar business. Period. That’s it. I’m making Avatar 2Avatar 3, maybe Avatar 4, and I’m not going to produce other people’s movies for them. I’m not interested in taking scripts.”

While it is understandable that Cameron would focus on making sequels to his 2009 smash, it is disheartening that a director of his magnitude is focusing on one set of films, in one specific genre. Of course, he doesn’t see it that way:

“That all sounds I suppose a little bit restricted, but the point is I think within the Avatar landscape I can say everything I need to say that I think needs to be said, in terms of the state of the world and what I think we need to be doing about it. And doing it in an entertaining way.”

Cameron has always been a technophile, wanting to push the envelope in regards to how he (and others) can bring movies to the screen. The $2.8 billion global gross of Avatar means that 20th Century Fox will be willing to throw a lot of cash to meet whatever demands Cameron has – something which they might not be so willing to do with an untested property. However, Cameron also wants to keep making documentaries:

“I’ve done five documentaries in the last 10 years, and I’ll hopefully do a lot more. In fact, I’m doing one right now, which is on this, the Deep Sea Challenge project that we just completed the first expedition. So that’ll be a film that’ll get made this year and come out first quarter of next year.”

Fans have been looking forward to seeing Cameron expand the world of Pandora, and we recently heard that the film may not make its planned 2014 release date, and the director seems to support that by stating:

“We’ve spent the last year and a half on software development and pipeline development. The virtual production methodology was extremely prototypical on the first film. As then, no one had ever done it before and we didn’t even know for two and half years into it and $100 million into it if it was going to work. So we just wanted to make our lives a whole lot easier so that we can spend a little more of our brainpower on creativity. It was a very, very uphill battle on the first film. So we’ve been mostly working on the tool set, the production pipeline, setting up the new stages in Los Angeles, setting up the new visual effects pipeline in New Zealand, that sort of thing. And, by the way, writing. We haven’t gotten to the design stage yet. That’ll be the next.”

While it’s exciting that a filmmaker like James Cameron wants to keep pushing the technical aspects of filmmaking, I feel a bit saddened that he feels the need to focus solely on Avatar. I understand the world of Pandora is an expansive place, and that there are many tales that could be told, but to throw his hands up and say “that’s it” –well, it kind of reminds me of George Lucas deciding that Star Wars was going to the be-all and end-all of his film career.

terminator 5 arnold schwarzenegger James Camerons Avatar Sequels Are His Only Focus

Many would argue that Cameron’s cinematic oeuvre hasn’t been totally original, as Piranha 2 and Aliens were sequels to other films; Terminator was hit by a lawsuit by Harlan Ellison over for borrowing from his work; True Lies was a remake of the French film La Totale; Titanic is based on an actual event; and even Avatar has drawn comparisons to films like Dances With Wolves. Whatever the charge, it has to be remembered that Cameron is a great director with strong visual sense and a knack for action like few others. It must also be noted that he only states he is not interested in producing for others, meaning that he could still direct non-Avatar films himself, if he feels the urge.

The main cause for alarm is that we might not get another film which teams Cameron with his Terminator and True Lies star Arnold Schwarzenegger – unless Ahnuld books a flight to Pandora. Now that might cause some real excitement.

We’ll keep you updated on the status of Avatar 2 in the meantime.

Source: New York Times


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  1. James Cameron is truly, and sadly, the next George Lucas. Enjoy your cash cow, James.

    • And let’s admit it. The only reason Avatar made so much money was because of the 3D and special effects, not because of the story. Your special effects team did well, James. Perhaps you should credit them more often.

      • Agreed. This movie is painful to rewatch, and this is coming from someone who described the 3.5 hrs seein Avatar in IMAX 3D as the most enjoyable 3.5 hrs in his life. I think he really needs to move on.

    • That’s not a very fair comparison in my opinion (though I can see where you’re coming from). The difference is that George just spits out film after product after film – he doesn’t give a s*** about the quality of any of it. At least James cares about the quality of his product. He’s already spent one and a half years perfecting the technology used on the original “Avatar”.

      • And George Lucas spent 30 years working on the Star Wars prequels. Time well spent indeed! -Argument over! ZING!!!!

        • The dialogue in the star wars prequels is horrible. I can’t believe he paid people to write that crap.

          • No.

            Lucas was the sole writer of the Star Wars prequels. He wrote the dialogue.

            And yes, it was dreadful.

            But the fact remains, those prequels made tons of money. Avatar is Cameron’s “Star Wars.”

        • Seriously?!?

    • Except that he’s smarter and more talented.
      …but you may be right…

  2. So what happened to all this “Battle Angel Alita will happen” business from a couple weeks ago??! It’s pretty selfish if he’s just gonna sit on the rights to BAA forever.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a low budget BAA based more on the manga. I’m not really bothered about seeing an Avatar 2. Did the novelty of 3D wear off after the first one. I sure as hell think “Avatar” only did so well because of the curiosity of new 3D technology and the fact that Cameron’s name was attached. IMO ^-^

    • Yeahh, it is quite a bummer we will never see Battle Angel Alita see to light of day. Although there’s a slim hope that he can transfers the property to another production house & he merely acting as a producer for that one, while he can keep his focus on Avatar.

    • Avatar will end. What then? He won’t work on them forever, he is just clearing his schedule so that he can focus totally on that while he is working on it.

  3. arny could be the new general that comes to destroy pandora

    • You just made me want to see Avatar 2. Seriously…good idea…and hopefully, he wins, and there is no Avatar 3.

      • Avatar 2 is that surprise there will be also 3,4 even 5 not b/e it’s bad it’s b/e it was the greatest movie ever made in the history human being it’s an era of the avatar or james cameron.also please don’t compair this movie with avengers or non james cameron movies.

  4. Meh… personally, I’m not really interested in more Avatar.

    • neither am I tbh, but if it looks really, really good i’ll go see it :)

      • It was an experience to see in 3-D. It’s not a groundbreaking story. However I do think James Cameron makes movies where the audience can sit back and become immersed in the story because he completely spoon feeds it. There’s a comfort in that. Also, he could use the popularity to build on the world and the characters. Plenty have doubted him before.

        • I just can’t really enjoy the movie as much without the 3D.
          I think that’s a bad thing. The VFX were amazing to see on the big screen, but on the small screen (even if it is a huge ass HDTV) the only way to really enjoy it is if you’re high on something 😉

          If you take a movie like The Avengers: that’s something I’ll be able to watch for the rest of my life… at least 3 times a year on BD, but Avatar? It’s just sitting on my shelf gathering up dust.

          And if Avatar 2 doesn’t have more “wow” moments (that can be enjoyed without the need of 3D) and a better story, then I’m not interested.

          • Well, even if Avatar is only “gathering dust on your shelf”, it is on your shelf even if you never watch it again. That’s money in James Cameron’s pocket.


  5. meh same here.. I’m not interesting in Avatar sequel for my reason is very obvious that when the guy at the end woke up said hi to the others hugged the girl and suggested ” let’s restore our home…” the rest yelled and be happy and probably the villains will be a couple of angry Avatars that don’t like the new guy or the bad guy from the first one he still alive or the ones that want the rocks.. the girl having baby’s and so so so etc… end of story

  6. The headline should say, “James Cameron uses a high-tech toilet after seeing Avengers BO totals.”

  7. Considering I think the Terminator franchise NEEDS to stay dead, I wasn’t a fan of True Lies and even Alien is pretty played out, I’m only a bit sad about Battle Angel.

    Cameron is his own person and as such is allowed to do WHATEVER the hell he wants. I mean if he just up and quit making movies tomorrow no one could force him to return, it’s HIS choice. So if Avatar is what he’s passionate about then I say great! At least we know he will pour his heart and soul into the Avatar quadrilogy.

    I personally loved Avatar. Sure it was a bit derivative (aren’t all movies now a days?) but he took the “Dances with Wolves” base and really made it his own with some real deep and interesting twists. I for one am excited to see what Pandora’s oceans hold (and why they would focus the next movie there) along with the rest of the world.

    • mongoose…

      Second paragraph on: I thoroughly agree.

    • Agreed!

  8. I bet the next one will get horrible reviews and make tons of money, and the third one will get horrible reviews and make tons of money. Just like the transformer series

    • Except that none of the Transformers movies were good (and were all poorly reviewed) while Avatar was well received, both critically and by the general audience.

      This is Cameron we are talking about so I would take your bet that Avatar 2-3 will at LEAST be good and entertaining, like everything else Cameron has written and directed.

  9. I think Cameron knows what he’s doing, Avatar was a movie experience like non I’ve ever experienced, no the movie itself was not a masterpiece, but it was definitely an entertaining and groundbreaking piece of cinema, and lets not forget the legs it had, climbing to a nearly 3billion dollar worldwide gross. He’s found his muse for the moment, let him have at it.

  10. This is kind of sad to me because I do like most of Cameron’s films (Terminator 1&2, Aliens, True Lies, The Abyss) but I have zero desire to see another Avatar.

  11. “And by the way, writing”. That says it all.

  12. “And by the way, writing” That says it all.

  13. Although Avatar is the best thing I have seen in 3D I could care less about a sequel or sequels. Maybe a better story for part 2 will change my mind.

    • *couldn’t care less rather :)

  14. Reading this, I’m feeling a sudden urge to buy a wreath of condolences, & sent it mr. Cameron along with words written on it “Here lies, Battle Angel Alita. Sleeping well my dear, for your eternity. Rest in peace as you never see a light of day”

  15. Dare I say it?

    If I said the same thing about Nolan and his Batman that you guys are saying about Cameron and his films, I’d be quickly labelled a troll and told to “get the f*** out”.

    Listen to yourselves.


  16. There are other directors out there that could do the same type of material, guys. I like all of Cameron’s post-Piranha work, even Titanic, but he’s not the only guy who could pull off Battle Angel.

  17. Reality check, I should be looking forward to seeing Avatar 2, mostly because I’m looking for something more different than what I’ve seen before in other movies. James Cameron is a genius, no doubt, but I guess the first Avatar movie left a foul taste in my mouth at the end. I was so pissed off at Jake Sully for his final actions. In honesty, I would have written a similar script but the ending would be different. To make this short, I am beyond disappointed in Cameron that he’s not working on Battle Angel. But I digress and support him anyway. I suggest that he continues to do what he does best.

    • and what pray tell would that different ending have been?

  18. Avatar was cool but I’d rather see James C. spend the time working on something different. I don’t want to wait til I’m 40 to see a live action Battle Angel Alita.

  19. The FX were done by Weta Digital in New Zealand. They are Peter Jacksons team who did LOTR and now the Hobbit. Cameron is moving to NZ to focus on his Avatar films. 2 is about the ocean I think I heard

  20. Hey Niall – Star Wars IS “the be-all and end-all of (Lucas’s) film career”. He may be able to envision a story but he is NOT a writer or much of a director (donning my flame-retardant suit). He’s been responsible for some fantastic technical advancements in the film industry (as is JC), but he should limit himself to production (imho). Cameron is a good writer and pretty damn good director – in the upcoming Avatar films, I’m sure we’ll see some great combinations of storytelling, direction AND tech achievement that Lucas is incapable of. I say let Jim focus on what he wants for now. It earns him the cash/freedom to continue to do what he wants in terms of tech stuff (good for the industry) and maybe leads to a better Battle Angel?…

    …and the LAST thing we need is a re-team with Arnold. Who seriously gives a s*** about him as an actor? He is NOT. If Cameron is as smart as I think he might be, he’ll stay away from “Ahnold”.

    • WELL said…exactly.

  21. I loved “Avatar” and thought it was a very well-done, entertaining film. For those saying it’s basically “Dances with Wolves”, I’m still trying to figure out how that’s a bad thing. Cameron took a solid idea and put his own twist to it and came up with a wonderful film. If you really want absolute uniqueness in filmmaking, good luck with THAT search in the modern era. “The Avengers” for example (no apologies, whatsoever, to those fanboys who froth at the mouth so much that they suffocate on their own bile when they read this) is a fun film and unique ONLY to the extent that it takes popular characters and combines them into one film, BUT…there have been quite a few films that have formed teams of heroes (super, or otherwise) who have gone on to save the world, the day, etc., as well as variations on that theme. Not so special after all…Neither was “Star Wars”; neither was “The Dark Knight”. It is HOW these films are put together and performed that makes them the amazing pieces of artistry we imagine them to be, and “Avatar” falls well within this category of films.

    Cameron has made great films; I look forward to seeing more greatness from him. I believe that these sequels, this concentration on the world of Pandora, will allow him to do this.

    • Well said.

  22. I can feel my respect for James Cameron fading. Apart from the visuals, the first Avatar was average. I feel like he’s robbing us as viewers of his talents, he can do a lot better.

  23. I think many people are jumping the gun in the comments. Did he say that he’s never going to make another non-Avatar film again? No, the only thing we know for sure is that he’ll make Avatar 2 and 3 (and some more documentaries), and that he doesn’t want to produce other people’s films right now.

    I think he should also be commended for making entertaining films that actually have a message, and hoping to do some good in the world and contribute a little to making it a better place.

  24. Avatar is the best – PERIOD.

    NOTHING will beat it – all the best Mr Cameron.

    Don’t pay attention to these no good for nothing worthless brainless suck ups.


  25. if he wants to do more films of avatar. that’s fine. i would love to see him work with arnold on true lies 2, terminator 5 or a different film because they have a history together. it would make me mad if they aren’t doing a good action film together because they are the best of the best.

  26. Starwars was the biggest piece of crap compared to avatar! I watched it 8 times in 3D and 5 times in 2D. I now own the three disk extended collectors edition on blue ray. Avatar is the best movie ever to be created. James Cameron made a work of art and no movie has even come close to it, past or present. I am on the edge of my seat, and looking forward to avatar 2, and how ever may more his is making. James Cameron is a film making genius!!!!

  27. I agree with you. Avatar; while visually is quite exceptional and has a fair share of wow moments, but for many the story is too simple and it isn’t much more than a Disney movie for grown-up’s. Sure- it’s an important morality warning tale for all humanity to sit up and process, but from a storywriting viewpoint it is too simple and predictable. If Avatar is what Cameron is signifying to be his magnum opus then it’s a little saddening- truly, I’d love to see him throw his hat back into the ‘Alien’ series, at least once more. There’s so much left to explore with that immensely original universe, gah, it really burns me to think my favourite director is never going to do anything else but make movies about giant blue tribes of men and the foreign ‘hero’ that saves them all from destruction. Booooring. Last Samurai, Enemy Mine, anyone? Been done before to death.

    Aliens was a medium were Cameron could really shine with his gift for holy trinity of the visual and technical, and creative. How’s Avatar going to end? I can tell you already- the humans will form some sort of mutual understanding with the Na’vi and Jake Sully will be written into their annuals of history as the saviour of the race. Again, ZZZ.

    Don’t get me wrong, I will watch all the upcoming Avatar movies and probably enjoy them, and I’m sure that Cameron will add some endearing twists to make them stand out from the rest, but it’s a bit like seeing your favourite artist painting other people’s masterpieces and their creativity wasted.