What's Next for Avatar and James Cameron: Sequels & More!
Now that James Cameron's Avatar has been out in theaters for nearly a week, it's time to look at what's next for James Cameron. And what's next for Avatar. What will we see in sequels? What will Cameron direct next? Back when Iron Man came out in '08, I wrote up a similar article looking at what's next. I loved that movie so much when I saw it that I was already anxious to see the sequel, so I pulled together some quotes and ideas and wrote up "The Future of Iron Man" (we even mentioned War Machine). With Avatar, though, there's so much more that everyone wants to hear about after seeing it. Where can they even go in a sequel?
MTV was the first to chat with James Cameron about what's next for the filmmaker. "Cameron's got plans within plans, built on top of plans and ready to spawn new plans. There are a lot of ideas, a lot of potential projects that he could pursue next." He mentions the Battle Angel movie, but MTV's Josh Horowitz says "there's still a ways to go" on Battle Angel and Cameron "wouldn't specify exactly what he's going to move onto next" anyway. So that doesn't sound like it's next. There's also Cameron's underwater drama The Dive that we've heard about before, but haven't seen anything official. What is it even about? Well, here you go:
"It is a love story, the true, tragic tale of a Cuban scuba diver and the woman he falls for."
"[Dive is] quite a modestly budgeted film… This is a film about a three-way relationship. There's a man, a woman, and the ocean and they both have very different relationships with the ocean."
While he could direct The Dive next, that's not confirmed either. The only other project he talks about is the Forbidden Planet remake he was rumored to be attached to. "That's a project that I'm actively involved in, but I haven't made any decisions about it yet." Again, no dice. Maybe we should stick to Avatar? Let's find out what's up next with that, since it could get a sequel soon as well, and it's fresh on everyone's mind.
Avatar is set almost entirely on the planet Pandora, which is one of the moons that orbits a huge gas giant planet called Polyphemus. You might have noticed that there are other moons orbiting that planet and while the planet itself can't sustain life, apparently some of these other moons orbiting it can. The LA Times' Hero Complex hosted a screening of Avatar and asked Cameron about these moons. Here's his quick answer:
"We've mapped out the planet and the sky. [The planet] in Pandora's sky - it's called Polyphemus and it's the primary [planet] for a system of moons, just like in our solar system - Jupiter has 50 some moons, they're still discovering smaller ones all the time. Yea, we have some story ideas for how to branch out into other moons of the Polyphemus and the Alpha Centauri A solar system. But we gotta make some money with this movie first before we think about the sequel!"
Whoa! My first thoughts for a sequel to Avatar were about exploring the planet (or moon) of Pandora and potentially coming across other creatures and tribes and so on. But it sounds like there's not much else out there besides some unobtainium and the Omaticaya. So where can they go? To other planets (or other moons)! According to Wikipedia, Pandora is located in the Alpha Centauri solar system (which we think in real life contains numerous planets), so it sounds like they'd potentially fly around there and land on some of the other planets. I'm sure this unobtainium isn't the only material being mined in the entire Milky Way.
One of the things I originally heard about Avatar (before seeing it) was that it had a universe as beautifully crafted (and potentially expansive) as Star Wars. Obviously that's not the case, since we've only ever seen one planet, and in Star Wars they visit hundreds and hundreds of planets, but in terms of the detail on Pandora itself, they were right about that. And it's that comparison that has continually come up in my mind when thinking about where they could go next and what an Avatar sequel could be about. I do think it's one of the most amazing cinematic worlds that anyone has created from scratch this entire decade (or longer).
This is a spoiler, so watch out if you haven't seen it. Another idea that I absolutely loved in Avatar was the concept of Pandora being a network, a giant brain, that could store memories (it was also their connection to a "mother nature" of sort that seemed sentient). I'm not exactly sure how this could further be explored in sequels, but when it was first explained by Dr. Augustine in the movie, my imagination lit up with all kinds of possibilities. How does it even work? When I think of storage, I think of a harddrive. Is there a way they could view those memories from the past somehow? As we saw at the end of the movie, Eywa obviously understood what Jake Sully was asking and could control all of the non-sentient creatures on the planet.
While you're mulling over those ideas, I'm going to pull a few more quotes from another MTV article, where the video above also comes from. In that article, Cameron confirms that he won't be making a prequel and will continue to focus on the two characters we're already familiar with. "We'll follow Jake and Neytiri," he says. He's got a big idea, actually, that hasn't been revealed yet. "I have a trilogy-scaled arc of story right now, but I haven't really put any serious work into writing a script." And he won't say what it is. But moving forward, Cameron isn't concerned that it's going to take four years or more to make the next one.
"My next goal is to refine the technique, make it easier so it doesn't take as long," Cameron said. "We were doing a lot of pioneering work on 'Avatar.' It wouldn't have taken as long if we already knew exactly how to do it."
So from there, it looks like we're going to have to wait until Cameron reveals what he's doing next or talks about Avatar any more. I'm guessing we won't hear anything about a sequel again until Avatar hits Blu-Ray in 2010. Suffice it to say, though, there are a lot of possibilities for a sequel - like exploring different planets and moons in the same solar system in a trilogy-spanning story arc. You thought this movie was epic, just wait until Cameron shows you what it's like to go between different planets with the Na'vi! Cameron has not only given us so much to work with for a sequel, but he's given us a phenomenal movie on its own as well.
And last but not least, if you really want to geek out, you can actually learn the language of the Na'vi on a new website that launched: LearnNavi.org. It's not an official Fox website, but they've put together guides and dictionaries of the Na'vi language (that contains roughly 1000 words). Yep, Cameron had USC professor Paul Frommer create a real language for the Na'vi to use in Avatar. Head over to that website to learn more.
Reader Feedback - 47 Comments
I thought Battle Angel was next for Cameron?
Film-Book dot Com on Dec 24, 2009
well According to Wikipedia the world is flat
DoomCanoe on Dec 24, 2009
"well According to Wikipedia the world is flat" Your joke is flat...just like conservatives thinking patterns.
tyrascilee on Dec 24, 2009
It would be sick if humans, having known about the Na'vi for awhile had abducted them as children and grown them up an a military environment to be like super soldiers, and then they can attack this time instead of just humans, could you imagine a Na'vi with military training and state of the art weapons, it would be pretty sick.
Richard on Dec 24, 2009
#5, i don't agree with doomcanoe much, but i see what he means with his wiki comment and i agree with it. yours is just stupid........and what does the doomcanoe comment have ANYTHING to do with conservatives and thier "thinking patterns"?
beavis on Dec 24, 2009
If Cameron wants to make another sequel, he is definitely going to have to improve on his writing. I mean I loved the movie, but I don't think Cameron is going to get away with having another cliched plot in a sequel.
SkaOreo on Dec 24, 2009
Well, after seeing Avatar in 3d, one just cant stop thinking about sequel. I definitely think, that if J.C. makes one, it will be something like Empire strikes back - a new twist in saga, and follow up to characters we already know (a new hope also ended lucky with Death star destroyed e.t.c. but in ESB we see, how empire gets it's revenge, and then we wait for the ROTJ for final salvation). I Think, that RDA still wants it share on Pandora, and won't give it up as easily, remember it takes some 6 years to go from earth to Pandora, so Jim, could explore what happens after some 5-6 years after the first film. I definitely will be looking forward for whats coming next in the universe of Avatar.
KR on Dec 24, 2009
I'm glad you posted this article, Alex. It really does pose a lot of questions now that James Cameron is returning to filmmaking; the man has truly been missed. I would like to say that, after seeing Avatar, I knew James Cameron wanted to pursue further storylines, and while I can see that they wanna explore the rest of Pandora, the oceans, and even the nearby moons, not to mention the potential of still involving Earth as it looks in 2154... My main question was: What will the story be? As a screenwriter myself, I knew the main thing about bringing out a story is having a conflict, a drive, having that underlining tension which sends the characters on journeys, destinies, worlds, and leads to the climax, resolution, and internal development. So, although I saw the potential of exploring worlds, I couldn't fathom what kind of conflict or driving force James Cameron could create in order to top Avatar. With that being said, I'm not worried. Based upon a whole series of lists surmising the top ten sequels of all Hollywood history, James Cameron has two on that list: ALIENS & TERMINATOR 2. Therefore, I may not be able to see what kind of story line he brings to life for the sequel, but I do believe he has the utmost creativity and power to bring us a sequel we wouldn't expect. Here's to AVATAR II in 2012-2013!!
Van Castle on Dec 24, 2009
So does anyone actually know how much money Avatar made already? I'm too lazy to go find it and I really only read from this website, come on Alex, you should have thrown that info in there! lol
Faust on Dec 24, 2009
Great article Alex. I really hope he pushes through with an Avatar trilogy for a few reasons. The most important being intellectual, creative and public consciousness momentum for James Cameron. In order to produce films that feel connected, and have them flow well with the (then built-in) audience, I think simply "fresher is better". I know that he is hesitant to commit to Battle Angel Alita until the technology develops further (due to a mix of Na'vi-level CGI mixed with live action footage being "tricky" still). Two more Avatar movies would generate a refined and predictable method of utilizing the Cameron Camera system to allow the Alita movie to be made. That, plus I can't wait for more Na'vi and Pandora. James, you get one more month off, then it's time to get cracking. Go down to Cancun, lay on the beach until you're bored to tears, then come back and get on it! You got this!
Andrew on Dec 24, 2009
avatar is at $381mil worldwide currently
monal on Dec 24, 2009
Wow, the cash is piling up quickly. I guess next week it's gonna be 500$+. Here in Switzerland all the theatres are sold out, even for next week. I saw the movie on tuesday and was absolutely amazed by it. I've never experienced anything similar before in a theatre. Gonna watch it again... I'm already hyped for Avatar 2 and 3! =P
Patrick on Dec 24, 2009
#3 i wasn't making a joke at all i was pointing out that Alex honestly used Wikipedia as a reliable source. but hey lets say i was making a joke! (ya know for shits and giggles) you say my "joke" is flat then drop a political joke about conservatives and the way they think? haha you fuckin dick i bet your one boring son of a bitch huh? just to fill ya in political humor has been rated the stupidest form of humor. Yep... its less funny then Knock Knock jokes... and Puppets...and Miming. so ya don't sound smart ya sound like a turd, your not funny and you should feel bad! enjoy your boring conversations with your wife #5 thanks for gettin my back brother!
DoomCanoe on Dec 24, 2009
Jon Landau said that while Avatar explored the surface of Pandora, there is much more to explore below it...so it could be something to do with underworld of Panora..may be the mines could lead to a whole new world with new creatures and stuff....theres much more possibilities for the sequel...
Hellboy on Dec 24, 2009
You guys, I really believe the story was a bit, dare I say, easy to take in (I forgot, apparently everyone wants a deep and involving story, yet you'll all go see Transformers 2) because this film is setting up the world and mythology. Honestly, go watch Star Wars: A New Hope Story: Rebels need Death Star plans so they can blow it up. Luke is on a journey to destroy the empire with the help of Obi-Wan. Simple right? Throw in Empire and ROTJ and it gets a lot deeper and better. Lay off this "Omg omg omg writing is so bad, story is so bad!!!" bullshit. Again, sorry to drop another TF2 bomb, but this was not that.
Rolland on Dec 25, 2009
@ #15 Rolland Thank you for your wise words!
Patrick on Dec 25, 2009
The movie truly exceeded my already very high expectations...wow such an experience! AWESOME!!!
Ambient on Dec 25, 2009
Excellent article - and thank you for the mention of LearnNavi.org!
Learn Na'vi on Dec 25, 2009
Great article. Great movie and can't wait for a sequel. I'm enchanted by Pandora.
Naviblue.com on Dec 25, 2009
I really loved the movie, the best ever! But I hate to wait 4 years or more on a Avatar II, why cant it not go faster, like 2 years?!
Peter on Dec 25, 2009
Avatar was great but why can't Cameron take over a superhero franchise like Superman or The Avengers? I don't think we need more Avatar sequels because we already know what the world of Pandora is all about. No need to give us more of the same. Would people not be extremely excited for an Avengers or Justice League Cameron movie? C'mon!
M-Cat on Dec 25, 2009
i was so disappointed with avatar. it was cool, but cameron totally "Borrowed" all the themes and concepts from other movies that had already been made... like the network (everything's connected thing) and the whole illuminating forest thing-ferngully, not cameron's idea.
james Sabatino on Dec 25, 2009
James Cameron OscarBaits to the audiance and spews CGI all over the screen
Tenzo on Dec 26, 2009
The movie in itself far exceeded my expectations. What a world Cameron has created, what genius! I have never seen such a breathtaking movie in a while. And oh sure, the storyline may be familiar to existing ones. Then again, think about it: What movie hasn't borrowed from another? If you're unsatisfied with the supposed "borrowed" storyline, why don't you go and write one up yourself? Let's see how that sells.
Avatarisamazingtheend on Dec 26, 2009
Bow down to the great James Cameron, the man with the top 2 movies of all time. Cameron is right as the superhero movies are a bit watered down thiese days! Anyhow, I would like him to do a hard "R" Battle Angel movie , it is pretty violent!
dee on Dec 27, 2009
That what I was hoping, I love Avatar but I hope he makes Battle Angel first and then come back to Avatar
Aecx on Dec 27, 2009
#4 Richard, it's a good idea but you are getting too complicated....why the hell would humans need to kidnap Na'vi children...all they need to do is make multiple Avatars and have their soldiers control them and then attack the tribe that way. I definitely could see this as a possibility for a sequel.
TURD FERGUSON on Dec 27, 2009
I gotta agree with DoomCanoe's secondary comment, #3 you're a dick.
Xerxex on Dec 27, 2009
James Camerons movies are always eally great. I dont care what the plot is, even if its original. Just like in Avatar. Ill still watch his movies because he is numver UNO
Jeff on Dec 29, 2009
I like the idea of on another moon, and there are other nivi aliens. Any their black not blue, and their more insect than cat. And they have technogly more advanced than the nivi. And thier world is more dying, rotting, and scary than pandora. The planets called shin-cera. And thier running out of food so they become cannibals and want the nivi for labor to clean up their planet, than they eat them. So a war starts between them. What do you think?
Nicholas Otero on Dec 31, 2009
@Nicholas Otero - Interesting, to say the least! Not a bad idea at all, my friend!
Keith on Dec 31, 2009
I think TURD FERGUSON is right, A unit of Avatars comeing back to fight would be pretty cool! I think they should stay on Pandora though just get RDA to come back and mabey involve some other tribes or even a tribe of Na'Vi who agree to work with the Humans or something...otherwise it'l get WAY to far fetched and too much like Starwars with loads of Random Humanoid races running around blasting lazers at each other! Pardoras still got alot to offer i think, its a whole new world! If they encounter another alien race thats technologically advanced then it'l just ruin the whole concept of the film, its got an underlying message of how we neglect our planet and the Na'Vi in a way are what we would see as ideal beings. Apparently Sam Worthington has signed of a Trilogy so i think they'l have to keep it on Pandora because i can't see the Na'Vi building a space ship any time soon!
Alex on Jan 1, 2010
A twist is possible since avatar the game was set before the actual movie.So it go 2 ways, one would be to continue Jake and Neytiri's story line and another choice is to go back to the past. Iit is a possibility but either way, J.C., what a GREAT film it never gets old. I'm so in love with it that if there is life after death I'd choose to be reborn as a Na'vi. Has a good impact on the govt. and the whole human race.......... Nice line Alex I agree it would be a big WHOA!!! if they were to meet another extraterrestrial race that zap the life out of them.May i ask a question, did Tsu Tey say the word taxi when they were about to cling on the vines of the floating mountain, and how many fingers would Jake and Neytiri's children will have since Jake has 5 while Nytiri has 4 fingers? J.C. please do a sequel!!!!! ^__^V
Nathaniel on Jan 1, 2010
I suppose there's always room for a sequel but given the fact the Na'vi are a relatively primitive culture, I don't think they'll be engaging in any interplanetary adventures anytime soon. Thus, in all likelyhood, a sequel would mean that the Na'vi would be facing yet another threat to their precious home world, Earth Military or otherwise. Just a rehash of the same story. When I think of Avatar, I equate it more to DUNE than 'Pocahontas In Space': Exotic Planet rich with and only source of the most valuable mineral in the galaxy- CHECK Indigenous Tribe to said planet who must either voluntarily cooperate with an intergalactic force that requires said mineral or be forcefully removed from said planet- CHECK Handsome, young ladd sent to negotiate with the tribe only to have a spritual awakening, fall in love with tribe female and become sypathetic to tribal plight- CHECK Handome, young ladd proves himself a prophet by taming some big, verocious indigenous creature and then riding it to victory- CHECK New-agey Soundtrack- CHECK
twittwit on Jan 3, 2010
Reading the background materials for the movie, one already finds built in motivation for a sequel - the humans aren't leaving any time soon. There are 10 interstellar capable ships being used by RDA. I would assume 5 outbound, 5 Earth bound. Each carries 200 passengers plus crew. If the ship we saw arrive is still there, they can evacuate 200 people right off the bat, but with 5 more ships already heading to Pandora, that's 1000 more people arriving over the next 6 years. Abandon the enterprise and evacuate everyone to Earth? Assuming RDA lets them, it'll take many, many years before everyone has left. For the near term, they're effectively stranded, and they're not just going to sit around while they wait. One of the many possible scenarios: besides continuing with whatever off-Pandora stuff is going on, they might set up a new mine somewhere less populated by Na'vi and more defendable - uninhabited island perhaps? It's possible a large EMP blast could knock out the electrical Eywa tree-root network at the new site, making it a lot safer for them. And if that works, they might try to take back the old minesite. So, lots of opportunity for conflict, reversal of fortune, omfg the good guys are screwed, how will they ever get out of this one - great stuff for a sequel.
MeAgain on Jan 3, 2010
This is an interesting article on Avatar http://www.moneyteachers.org/Deadmanmusings8.htm
paul on Jan 5, 2010
Wow thanks for the Post -- ALL of you! i loved this movie so much and wanted more of pandora but couldn't think of a possible story for a sequel. Great info guys, i think Avatar 2 is quite possible! 😀
Invictus on Jan 5, 2010
Quote: Another idea that I absolutely loved in Avatar was the concept of Pandora being a network, a giant brain, that could store memories (it was also their connection to a "mother nature" of sort that seemed sentient). I'm not exactly sure how this could further be explored in sequels, but when it was first explained by Dr. Augustine in the movie, my imagination lit up with all kinds of possibilities. How does it even work? When I think of storage, I think of a harddrive. No problem. Computers don't have to be all silicon and mechanical parts, and may not be this way, in the future. When in doubt, 'Google' the 'Wikipedia', and you will find this: "Biocomputers use systems of biologically derived molecules ... to perform computational calculations involving storing, retrieving, and processing data." Biocomputing has been under development in the labs, for a number of years ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biocomputers
RonC on Jan 12, 2010
Viper on Jan 13, 2010
before whatchign the movie i was very specticul about it Wasn't sure what it was and normally avoid it thinking it was just another one of those movies you can dismiss. I was so wrong... in many ways i hate cameron, then again it all boils down to the fact he created something that is behond imagining and what i woudl give to be part of it (in the of course fantasy side of it) then again of course I have to thank someone like him for making such movie because I sure could not have come up with the creativity and imagination that he has and above all the guts and dedication he took to make it for so many many damn many years, i probably woul dof given up by the 2 week, so i truly would thank him for been so persistent and not giving up. I have read a lot of comments so far many good many downwords about what he created and well truly i think i will bored the down comment towards avatar, it is a movie you like many only focus on one thing ( you predictibal guys, you know what i mean) comments like mashthat would carelessly throw out there. In the end it is no more than just an idea from a guy who believes in somethign more than our regular lifes on this known world but at the sametime I would gladly create a group that would surely be interested in meeting and chat about ideas of such that pertain to the movie and how can does ideas be compared to our life as we know it today. Avatar has truly made me feel both love to such an idea as if it was a long dorment dream i have had for a logn time and it took him to awake it and at the same time made me feel anger ( more likely jelousy) because as described on the first part of the two wasy of my feeligns if for one minute the unrealistic idea of it could be fullfilled (would you)? I know my answer do you know yours.
Random on Feb 13, 2010
I just watched Avatar for the first time and thought it was the stupidest movie ever created. I always wondered if the domination of an earth like planet could be taken over by entering into a dream land where a marine wakes up to be a ten foot tall alien and whose mission is to infiltrate the alien world with the appearance of the natives. The best part was how easy it would be if the aliens just happened to speak English.
sean on Feb 21, 2010
billy on Feb 21, 2010
Now I work over the scenario for "the Avatar 2". I need to contact James Kmeronom. My mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kir on Apr 2, 2010
Now I work over the scenario for "the Avatar 2". I need to contact James Cameron. My mail: email@example.com
Kir on Apr 2, 2010
Hello James Cameron, my name is Kir, I'm from Russia. Having seen your magnificent and grandiose film of "Avatars", I have started to write continuation. "Avatars: Fight of Pandory". I write scenarios from 14 years. At me three heart diseases, but I wish to write books while I am still live. I very much would like that you have paid attention to my scenario which is very interesting. I am assured that this scenario will necessarily interest you. I can send a copy of the scenario to you by mail. Thanks for attention.How is it possible to contact James Cameron?
Kir on Apr 2, 2010
i am rahul from india, i like Avatar film very much; & i want more sequels of avatar; because i strrongly believe our Nextbirth(Rebirth) is also in other planets(Aliens),&other Galaxies; in that planets Aliens Lifespan is 1,000years, or 10,000years, or 100,000years; God creates not only our Dirty planet ,he also created good worlds for who people did good things in their present Life; if God is not here ,then all planets,star(sun)s, asteroids, Galaxies are collapsed;
Rahul on Dec 20, 2010
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