Fox Announces Three 'Avatar' Sequels to Hit Theaters Starting in 2016
by Ethan Anderton
August 1, 2013
Yesterday brought a small update for the gestating Avatar sequel with James Cameron enlisting the help of War of the Worlds and "Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles" writer Josh Friedman to work on the script. Other than that, we've been waiting for any clear indicator of when production might begin on the follow-up to the 2009 blockbuster. While we heard there would definitely be two sequels coming, there were rumblings that three films might be in the works. Well, Deadline has word that Fox is definitely making three more Avatar films with James Cameron at the helm, and there's writers lined up for all of them.
Friedman is writng one sequel, and the other two will fall in the hands of Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Shane Salerno (Armageddon, Savages), who was working with Cameron on the remake of Fantastic Voyage. Also, all three films will be shot back-to-back, just like Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy did in New Zealand over a decade ago with production beginning in 2014. That means the first sequel won't arrive until December 2016, the second in December of 2017 and the third (you guessed it) in December of 2018. Here's what Cameron had to say about the plan:
“Building upon the world we created with 'Avatar' has been a rare and incredibly rewarding experience. In writing the new films, I’ve come to realize that Avatar’s world, story and characters have become even richer than I anticipated, and it became apparent that two films would not be enough to capture everything I wanted to put on screen. And to help me continue to expand this universe, I’m pleased to bring aboard Amanda, Rick, Shane and Josh — all writers I’ve long admired - to join me in completing the films screenplays.”
Honestly, as someone who enjoyed Avatar for its beautiful landscapes, impressive special effects and solid action, I can't say I'm positively thrilled about three more films in the series. Yes, Avatar was entertaining, but it certainly wasn't a mind-blowing piece of cinema. With a derivative story and forgettable human characters, it just felt flat. Maybe with all this time Cameron has fleshed out the universe and story since he doesn't have to focus on developing new technology as much. Fox is surely happy to have three sequels to the highest grossing movie of all time, but we'll have to wait and see how this franchise pans out.