We've still got three years (at the time of writing this) until Avatar 2 actually hits theaters. However, seeing how it is the sequel to the unadjusted highest-grossing release in the history of motion pictures - and also the film that truly got the modern 3D craze going - any news concerning the project is worth reporting on.
Avatar universe mastermind James Cameron recently touched on the topic of whether or not Sigourney Weaver will return for the followup - and now, he's offered a few additional hints about the film, with respects to matters such as plot, scope, and the (extraterrestrial) settings that will be explored.
It's long been known that Avatar 2 aims to explore the oceans of Pandora to some degree - though, how much of the movie will actually take place underwater remains to be seen. Cameron isn't spilling any juicy details about that just yet, but he is willing to talk preliminary information (re: the basics).
Here is what Cameron told Nightline, on that subject:
"['Avatar 2'] is on Pandora. Well, I'm really writing the second and third films together, so it completes a kinda three film story arc. And we will see the oceans of Pandora, which we haven't seen at all and that's an ecosystem that I'm dying to start designing because it's going to look spectacular... ['Avatar 2'] narrows the spotlight instead of just nature in general or the rainforest. It focuses it a little more on ocean issues, because we have a planet that's a blue planet. From a distance, you look at it, the Earth is a lot more blue than it is, you know brown, the land mass. We're making the oceans unsurvivable for a lot of the species right now. For a lot or reasons. It's just a way to focus a little energy in that direction."
On the topic of the tone and style of the Avatar sequel:
"I think it's just a continuation of the same thing [from the first film]. I want people to feel that same sense of excitement about that world [Pandora]. You know, the fictional Na'vi people and I want them to feel that excitement of discovery of a new world that they're going to see things that they haven't imagined. All that sort of the perk package of the first movie is still going to be there. And the themes will be there and be played out in a way that I think people can accept... I'm not going to become more strident. I'm not going to say, 'well, we got away with this much environmental content in the first movie, now there's double.' Because I think that would be a mistake. It has to be entertainment first and foremost."
While Cameron's Avatar may not have blown away moviegoers with its storyline - which (essentially) amounted to a sci-fi allegorical version of Dances with Wolves, mixed with elements of an environmentally-conscious parable along the lines of Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - no one denies that the film's colorful alien world of Pandora is an impressive sight to behold.
So, if Cameron can devise more of an unconventional narrative to go with the cutting-edge visuals and truly epic action in his Avatar sequels, then moviegoers will have all the more reason to take a return trip to that particular fantastical cinematic landscape... especially since Pandora's oceans should also make for some truly delicious eye candy.
Avatar 2 is tentatively scheduled to hit U.S. theaters around Christmas 2014, followed by Avatar 3 a year later.