Well, it’s official. We are going back to the highly CG world of Pandora. James Cameron can’t talking about making Avatar sequels and now 20th Century Fox has confirmed that it is not just all talk.
Yesterday the announcement was made that Cameron will make 2 and 3 next – but not immediately. Unfortunately, Avatar was not originally conceived as a trilogy. First, Cameron will write both films. Second, he must decide if he wants to shoot them back-to-back a la Lord of the Rings, Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions and Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3.
Preproduction will begin early next year with a goal to start shooting towards the end of 2011. Because this supposedly lengthy and in-depth new filmmaking process that Cameron and his team have invented, the first of the two sequels will most likely not storm theaters until December 2014. (If you are as curious about this new filmmaking process as I am, you will finally be able to get a look into it on one of the many special features included on the Extended Collector’s Edition of due out on Blu-ray and DVD on November 16.)
Cameron adds, “It is a rare and remarkable opportunity when a filmmaker gets to build a fantasy world, and watch it grow, with the resources and partnership of a global media company. Avatar was conceived as an epic work of fantasy – a world that audiences could visit, across all media platforms, and this moment marks the launch of the next phase of that world. With two new films on the drawing boards, my company and I are embarking on an epic journey with our partners at Twentieth Century Fox. Our goal is to meet and exceed the global audience’s expectations for the richness of Avatar’s visual world and the power of the storytelling. In the second and third films, which will be self contained stories that also fulfill a greater story arc, we will not back off the throttle of Avatar’s visual and emotional horsepower, and will continue to explore its themes and characters, which touched the hearts of audiences in all cultures around the world. I’m looking forward to returning to Pandora, a world where our imaginations can run wild.”