Whether you love director James Cameron's work or can't stand it, there's no denying that the man has vision. In the case of his sci-fi epic Avatar, which had a development history that spanned well over a decade, his vision extends to not just one but three upcoming sequels that will be produced back-to-back and released in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
When it comes to pinning down exactly who will be putting pen to paper on Avatar 2, Avatar 3 and Avatar 4, however, things can understandably get somewhat hard to follow. Cameron has hired novelist Steven Gould to write four stand-alone novels based on the Avatar movies, and there are currently four screenwriters working on the scripts for the future sequels.
Luckily, Avatar producer (and Cameron's business partner) Jon Landau has now clarified exactly which screenwriters will be working on which scripts in an interview with the New York Times. Avatar 2 will be written by Rise of the Planet of the Apes duo Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. The script for Avatar 3 will be penned by Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles writer Josh Friedman, who was previously said to be working on a rewrite of Avatar 2. Finally, Avatar 4 will be written by Shane Salerno, who co-wrote the screenplay for the 2012 Oliver Stone movie Savages.
Landau further explains that the majority of the brainstorming for the Avatar sequels took place last year in a room at MBS Media Campus, a California studio that will be used to shoot some of the effects sequences. Leads Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington have already been confirmed as returning for all three sequels, and Landau says that the movies will follow "the story of [Jake and Neytiri's] life together."
At one point Avatar 2 was expected to shoot in 2011 for release this year, but the seven-year wait between movies was in part due to Cameron pursuing other interests - including the ultra-deep sea dives that are the subject of his upcoming documentary Deepsea Challenge 3D. This diversion isn't totally unrelated to Avatar, since the first sequel will get up close and personal with the oceans of Pandora.
In addition to the tie-in novels and the 2009 video game, Avatar is also getting its own themed area in Disney's Animal Kingdom at the resort in Orlando, Florida. Landau says that he and Cameron "decided to build out the breadth of our world — whether or not it’s in one of the films — now... This is not about any one medium."
Avatar remains the highest-grossing movie in the history of cinema (with Titanic in second place), but do you think that Cameron and his team of writers can keep the magic going for another three movies? Tell us in the comments what you think of the talent that's been assembled.
Avatar 2 is scheduled for release in December 2016, followed by Avatar 3 in 2017 and Avatar 4 in 2018.
Source: New York Times