Screen Rant's Roth Cornet attended a Discussion/Q & A session with James Cameron and Avatar producer Jon Landau last night and learned a bit more about the plans for both Avatar 2 and a threequel, which we'll dub Avatar 3 for now.
Cameron confirmed the rumor that Avatar 2 & 3 will be shot back-to-back and admitted that he has not yet decided whether or not to tackle those sequels next or take on another project first.
While reports were in last month that Cameron is developing a True Lies TV show, the Oscar-winning filmmaker revealed at the Q & A panel that he is not actually involved with the project. Cameron has expressed his interest in helming a live-action, big-budget adaptation of the anime/manga series Battle Angel in the past, but the timeline for that project remains very much up in the air. A 3D conversion of Titanic is currently being overseen by Cameron, but the director's schedule is otherwise unsettled for the time being.
We found out last month that Cameron is working with Australian engineers to develop a "deep sea vessel" that will allow him to shoot footage of the Mariana Trench in 3D, but the filmmaker claims that the project is unrelated to Avatar 2. Cameron revealed his plans to explore the oceans of Pandora in the Avatar sequels earlier this year and he certainly seems to doing (if only indirectly) research for the films already - does that mean that Avatar 2 could arrive in 2013 after all?
Read on for Cameron's official statement about the Avatar sequels:
"Our plan right now is to do ['Avatar 2 & 3'] as a single large production and release them a year apart. In order to do that, we have to refine our technical processes beyond the end of where we were finishing ['Avatar'] a year ago. We need to future-proof ourselves out five or six years to the end of the third film."
A number of franchises have featured sequels that were shot back-to-back, but the results have generally been mixed - especially when it comes to big-budget fare like The Matrix or Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Cameron and his production crew already have the necessary technology to begin work on Avatar 2 & 3, which should both be less expensive ventures than the original Avatar - not to mention that Cameron seems to have a solid plan for where he will take the franchise next, in terms of both plot and setting.
The Extended Collector's Edition of Avatar arrives on DVD and Blu-ray this November and most fans are eagerly anticipating a return trip to Pandora. While the general public's interest in 3D has waned a bit since Avatar obliterated box office records last winter/earlier this year, both Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 should, if nothing else, be visually impressive enough to convince moviegoers to pay the 3D surcharge to check them out on in theaters.