James Cameron Gives Latest 'Avatar' Sequel Updates from New Zealand

March 18, 2013
Source: Play Goes Strong

James Cameron as Na'vi

"I'm deep into it and I'm living in Pandora right now." He's gone. He's on another planet somewhere, one called Pandora, writing the screenplay. That's where James Cameron is right now. We're waiting for him to continue to write and develop the next two Avatar sequels, Avatar 2 & 3, before eventually making Avatar 4. Last we heard we weren't going to be seeing any of these until at least 2015, but in the meantime, we're curious what he is up to. A site called Play Goes Strong (via ComingSoon) recently posted a brief Q&A with Cameron, where they ask him about an update on the Avatar movies - and his location in New Zealand.

Pretty much all we know at the moment is that Cameron is working on these sequels to the '09 sci-fi action movie starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver, and not much else. "I'm making Avatar 2, Avatar 3, maybe Avatar 4, and I'm not going to produce other people's movies for them," he said last year. But now he's apparently relocated down to New Zealand, Peter Jackson's realm where Weta is located, to continue writing. At first, they asked about a scoop on the "upcoming little film called Avatar 2":

"Oh believe me, it's not that little! It's not exactly a little, intimate drama. I'm working on 'Avatar 2' and 'Avatar 3.' I was talking the other day with Peter Jackson and said, 'You had it easy dude. You had the books when you did the second and third 'Lord of the Rings.' I have to create my own books in my head and extract a script from it. I'm deep into it and I'm living in Pandora right now. There is that start up torque where you feel it's coming to you. Then you build up momentum. That's when it gets fun. The characters talk and it's writing itself. I'm almost there right now. It's building fast."

Awesome. So it actually sounds like things are moving along—in the writing phase at least. That's where Cameron reveals to them that, "as a writer, I need isolation. I'm calling you from New Zealand right now where I'm writing on a little farm. When you live in a special world like Pandora, you have to live in that world." That sounds intense, I wonder if his farm is decorated with fauna to look like Pandora from Avatar—wouldn't that be amazing. There are supposed to be theme parks in the works. If only we could get a glimpse, but that wouldn't happen for a few years, if it's even real. The site asked him if he feels pressure:

"Pressure, no. It's a little daunting because sequels are always tricky. You have to be surprising and stay ahead of audience anticipation. At the same time, you have to massage their feet with things that they know and love about the first film. I've walked that line in the past, so I'm not too worried about it. At the same time, I definitely have to deliver the goods… As for a release date that will be determined by when I get the script out. No pressure!"

No pressure indeed, Mr. Cameron. We've got all the time in the world, right? Especially with new Star Wars coming in 2015, too. I can't help but wonder if "I've walked that line in the past, so I'm not too worried about it" refers to going from The Terminator to Terminator 2: Judgment Day or even just Aliens - and if so, imagine that kind of upgrade from Avatar to Avatar 2. We have no idea what kind of epicness is coming, and that's why I'm so excited, even if these kind of vague updates provide no details while we wait keep waiting for likely another two years. Thanks again to Play Goes Strong, where you can find the full interview also covering his Cirque du Soleil 3D movie from last year. Are you excited for these Avatar sequels?

Find more posts: Development, Movie News, Sci-Fi



Terminator was good, but Terminator 2 was great and the same can be said about Alien and Aliens. I can't wait to see what Mr. Cameron has in store for us.

Matt Peloquin on Mar 18, 2013


Those movies were Insanely good but his work now is all about water and force fed spirituality

Christopher Philip Cinquegrano on Mar 18, 2013


He explores the depths of the sea to find inspiration for alien creatures and I enjoy his philosophical outlook on space and the human spirit. You just named two things in my book that make him legendary. Not many film makers invent a one-of-a-kind submarine to do storyboarding and create an entirely new language for a screenplay.

Matt Peloquin on Mar 18, 2013


Don't forget the political statements.

avconsumer2 on Mar 18, 2013


I might be in the minority, but I prefer the original Terminator to the 1991 sequel. It's just more raw and satisfying.

$126191 on Mar 19, 2013


eh, the first was heavily overrated.

shouserr on Mar 18, 2013


2015 is a long time to wait for a sequel these days. We wait for The Avengers because other movies buy time for the sequel. Avatar? I can't imagine caring in 2 years for what I marginally cared about 3 years ago.

Tyler Morgan on Mar 18, 2013


i'm not waiting for an avengers movie.....

dianeT on Mar 19, 2013


Updated quote: 'You had it easy dude. You had the books when you did the second and third 'Lord of the Rings.' All I had was Dances With Wolfes in my head and extract a script from it"

Tester on Mar 18, 2013


It's "wolves," genius. Also, try to produce an original thought instead of just repeating what you read elsewhere. I doubt you had the patience to sit through a nearly four hour period drama and I'm positive you can't recognize the derivative nature of one film compared to another without someone pointing it out to you.

racquetman on Mar 18, 2013


Wow, was that necessary ? We are entitled to our post opinions wether U like it or not. Am I that rude when responding to your comments ? Spelling mistake aside, who are U to make such judgement about my comments ? Here is one judgement about yours.. U are clearly a conceded a$$hole !!!

Tester on Mar 18, 2013


Your opinion is worthless. Period. Why? Because it's not YOUR opinion. Again, try having an original thought and then you can call it "your opinion."

racquetman on Mar 18, 2013


U must still be living in your mom's basement... We understand your frustration and anger..

Tester on Mar 18, 2013


I'm still waiting for YOUR opinion on Avatar . . . in fact, I'm on the edge of my seat with anticipation.

racquetman on Mar 18, 2013


Please give me 24 or so hours, I need to have discussions with several individuals before I can post MY opinion.. Sit tight, have your mom get U an ice cream sandwich or something while U wait

Tester on Mar 18, 2013


Mom's basement. Hahahaha. Talk about originality!! I bet my home theater costs at least four times as much as your vehicle, if you even have one.

racquetman on Mar 18, 2013


Ok, thanks for your comments and laughs, but enough of your silly immature 12 year old comments..

Tester on Mar 18, 2013


Shut-up all of you!

Random on Mar 18, 2013


LOL only original opinions are valid? If one person likes a movie, I'm not also allowed to like it? If one person thinks a movie is derivative, no other person is also allowed to believe a movie is derivative? For the record you are far from the first person to call the notion that Avatar is derivative unoriginal. Therefore, by your criteria, your opinion is also worthless. Or, you know, we can all have a civil conversation about movies that haven't even been made yet.

Wafffles on Mar 18, 2013


Everything is derivative of something else. People are influenced by other works - it's unavoidable. The only reason that Avatar gets shit on so heavily is because it made more money than the haters think it should have. That's it. Cameron never claimed that he made the most original, thought-provoking, genius movie of all time. Sad people on the internet projected that onto the movie. If you stick to the facts, Avatar is a fun, visually stunning movie that just happens to be the highest grossing film to date (inflation notwithstanding).

racquetman on Mar 18, 2013


Agreed, everything is indeed derivative of something else. So why does Avatar get a pass on being similar to Dances because "it's inevitable" while his statement pointing out that similarity is "invalid because it's not original." Both derivative, inevitably as you point out, but that derivative nature you defended on behalf of one person and condemned in another.

Wafffles on Mar 18, 2013


My only point was that you shouldn't pass off another person's ideas as your own. That's called plagiarism, and it runs rampant on the internet. Avatar doesn't get a pass for anything. It has been critiqued ad nauseam. Again, it receives a larger than necessary backlash against it only because of its great financial success, though. Critically the film was well received (83 % rotten tomatoes) whether it was heavily derivative or not. Just because a film isn't telling the most original story ever, doesn't mean that it can't be a very good film.

racquetman on Mar 18, 2013


And the same could be said for your rude, obnoxious, spiteful, hateful blabber that is seemingly become the online etiquette. Congratulations on sounding like everyone else! Here's something original for you: be kind in your posting. Other human beings may not try as hard to compare you to animal genitalia. Good luck sir.

PBGray on Mar 21, 2013


Are you Tester's daddy? Tell him to get over it and teach him how to spell wolves, would ya? Thanks. Sincerely, Donkey Dick (less metaphorical and more anatomically similar, size-wise)

racquetman on Mar 21, 2013


I had to stop reading this post at James Cameron telling Peter Jackson "you had it easy with the Lord of the Rings "dude"?" DUDE....really? Turning Tolkien's uber-detailed stories into a script is an "event sociological"...easy my ass. Peter and Fran might as well have been writing it from scratch, it's so complicated. James is a great director and all, but AVATAR'S storyline wasn't Dr. Zhivago by any stretch of the imagine and neither will the sequels. Jeffrey

Why? on Mar 18, 2013


Clearly his intention was to make "Dr. Zhivago on Pandora" (sarcasm), and he was obviously joking with Peter Jackson and you've chosen to take the quote way out of context. People can't get past the fact that Avatar made a boat load of money. That doesn't mean it's a great movie by critical standards and it certainly doesn't mean that that's what Cameron was aiming for with the film. He made a fun movie that is visually stunning and invented some amazing new technology along the way. He is undeniably a pioneer in the industry, and if that means he gets rewarded with large box office results, good for him. He absolutely deserves it. The guy's a genius whether you like his films or not. I bet Peter Jackson would have no problem admitting that he was influenced by work done by Cameron.

racquetman on Mar 18, 2013


It doesnt have as much to do with Avatars success in my opinion as much as the way Cameron acts. He acts like hes some kind of movie god, every interview Ive seen with the guy he acts and talks like a completely arrogant douchebag.

Cody W on Mar 18, 2013


Cameron is wasting his career on an over rated film franchise, which was basically just Pocahontas in space, ahhh whatever I'm just gonna watch Terminator 2.

Fidel Reyes on Mar 18, 2013


There are two reasons the mediocre Avatar did so well in theaters: 1. It's CGI and 3D were truly unrivaled in 2009. It wasn't perfect, but it was very, very cool, definitely superior to anything made before then. Even people who really didn't care for the story were enticed into a viewing just to see the much-discussed special effects, and thus what may have been a rather mediocre market (space-environmentalism?) ended up having enough to pull in a very wide audience. 2. Since Avatar was indeed so advanced, they were able to justify higher ticket prices. The old industry trick of charging a 3D ticket surcharge really kicked in, because many people showed up specifically for that very 3D technology that had been hyped as revolutionary. So Avatar gained a reputation of having amazing, revolutionary visuals which pulled in a variety of people, and it's technological leaps permitted higher ticket prices without alienating those viewers. The problem is, in 2015, this won't really be the case. No doubt there will be improvements, but in the end the near-photorealistic 3D that was so impressive in 2009 will no longer be such a novelty. It won't pull in people from all walks of life simply for the experience; we've been there a done that, last decade. Similarly, while the higher ticket price won't go away, many films now have higher ticket prices, i.e. it's becoming the industry norm. It no longer has that advantage relative to the rest of the market. Perhaps they'll have some momentum from viewers who feel invested enough in the story/franchise to automatically see the sequel, but I think most people will need a stronger story, a more promising premise, a more original film on the whole, for 2, 3, and beyond to have the same performance the original pulled off.

Wafffles on Mar 18, 2013


Most people will need a stronger story? That's funny. Have you noticed what movies make big money at the box office? Most people don't give a crap about story. The vocal minority that exist on sites like this don't influence the general population. The Avatar sequels will be a massive success regardless of whether the stories are strong or not. Take that to the bank. Cameron will.

racquetman on Mar 18, 2013


What a coincidence. I just watched Avatar yesterday. I've seen it before but it surprised me nevertheless how classy the movie is, it flows real nice and the camera and action are set masterfully all the time. While it definitely resembles some stories from the past it is original on its own. It has a unique atmosphere, with some great lines and some cheesy ones I admit. I have complete faith in Cameron new take. "I have to take it to a whole new level."

Robert L. Tuva on Mar 18, 2013


Now that i know what i'm in for i'm just gonna wait for this to hit cable, and maybe i'll give it a watch, I think Camerons past work

Guest on Mar 18, 2013


Now that i know what i'm in for i'll wait for this to hit cable. I think Camerons Glory days of filmaking were in the 80's and 90's.

Christopher Philip Cinquegrano on Mar 18, 2013


Cameron has made a sequel that eclipses the predecessor in quality twice before...and I believe he will do it again. The level of photo-realism we'll see in Avatar 2 and 3 will be jaw-dropping. Pretty much no film has even matched Avatar since it's release....and the sequels will obliterate it. I can't wait.

Chris Groves on Mar 18, 2013


Yeah! i'm totally excited! can't wait to see Alita:Battle angel, before Avatar 2 and 3!

Bob on Mar 18, 2013


Some people here are saying Aliens is way better than Alien. I'm cool with that; I love Aliens too but I love Alien even more. Just defending my beloved Alien here, everyone's entitled to their own opinion, of course.

Isildur_of_Numenor on Mar 18, 2013


Cameron is such an arrogant, ego maniac. How about he pay all the VFX artists their over time after working 100 plus hour work weeks for 2 years? Then maybe I will support his films.

ticketmaster on Mar 18, 2013


I could wait till 3015 for these movies. That's how much I care to see another one.

$126191 on Mar 19, 2013

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