Skip to main content

Avatar sequels to be shot in 4K, 48fps high frame rate

avatar sequels shot 4k 48 fps high frame rate movies a movie 019441
Image used with permission by copyright holder

James Cameron has made a career out of pushing the boundaries of technology in his movies, and once again the director is planning on using the most cutting edge tech to film the three upcoming Avatar sequels. The trilogy of sequels will be shot back-to-back-to-back in 4K, and will at least partially use the 48fps high frame rate format recently seen in The Hobbit films, the director told the French outlet (which was then translated by TechRadar).

Films are typically shot in 2048 x 1080, but Cameron is proposing moving to 4096 x 2160. The director’s move to Ultra HD isn’t really that surprising given his love for using new technology. Cameron’s choice to shoot the original Avatar in 3D led to a major windfall, as the film went on to earn close to $2.8 billion worldwide. Avatar certainly wasn’t the first 3D film, but it remains the most successful. That helped to spur the current 3D film trend, where for a while it seemed like Hollywood’s new passion would help to usher in the age of the 3D TV. That hasn’t quite been the case, but with 4K TVs hitting the market, Cameron could once again help to push the new tech into the public consciousness.

“You know we’ll be shooting at a native resolution probably of 4K and so there should be a lot of true 4K theaters by then as well,” the director said.

The frame rate may be a bit of a tougher sell though. When The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey debuted its 48fps HFR version, it was divisive. Some loved the realistic look, while others derided it as “too-realistic,” criticizing it for supplanting the textured cinematography audiences expect. It also highlighted what some saw as other technical failings that were unique to HFR, including lighting made for 24fps that was almost fluorescent in the new format. That didn’t seem to hurt the box office though, as the first two films of the trilogy have earned nearly $2 billion worldwide.

While Cameron has embraced the Ultra HD wholeheartedly, he is still studying the HRF format. It will be used in the coming Avatar films to some degree, the question is how much.

“Well we’re looking at high frame rate: I’m studying that,” said Cameron. “I haven’t made a final decision yet, whether the entire film will be made at a high frame rate or only parts of it.”

Filming on the planned trilogy is set to begin in 2015, with all three films combined expected to cost upwards of $1 billion. Filming them together will help to speed up the process though, and the films are tentatively set for December releases in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Editors' Recommendations

Ryan Fleming
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ryan Fleming is the Gaming and Cinema Editor for Digital Trends. He joined the DT staff in 2009 after spending time covering…
How to set up HDR gaming on your 4K HDR TV and PlayStation 4 or PS4 Pro
Aloy aiming her bow at a robot.

The advent of 4K UHD resolution has been a significant boon to gaming, as it has brought crisper resolutions and more exquisite detail to graphics. However, while 4K is an appreciable upgrade, if you're not playing with high-dynamic range (HDR) enabled, you're not getting the full experience from your 4K TV or games. Both of Sony's current consoles -- the PlayStation 4 and the 4K-ready PS4 Pro -- support HDR, provided you have the proper display and the right setup. We've put together this guide on how to set up HDR gaming on your 4K/HDR TV and PS4 or PS4 Pro consoles for more colorful, vibrant games.

Note that while both the PS4 and PS4 Pro are capable of HDR, you'll need to make sure you've updated the firmware to 4.0 or higher. If you need help setting up HDR on an Xbox One S or Xbox One X, we can help with that, too.
Set up your TV first

Read more
The best cheap 4K monitors
Samsung UD970 4K monitor

Those looking for a top-notch 4K monitor for entertainment, editing work, or visually-rich games often run into a problem: Those monitors are expensive, and they tend to be larger to take advantage of all those pixels, which can add even more onto the price tag. But don’t worry! If you don’t want to pay $500 to $1,000 bucks for a new monitor, there are still ways you can get a 4K display, plus the right ports and cables to support it. Take a look at our favorite affordable options, starting with the all-around excellent Samsung UE570.

Also, check out our guide to the best budget monitors overall for even more options at lower resolutions.
Samsung 28-inch UE570

Read more
Here’s every Xbox One X Enhanced game that supports 4K resolution

The Xbox One X clocks in as the most powerful video game console ever created. To maximize its increase in power, a number of games have received dedicated patches optimizing them for 4K visuals and better performance. These games, which Microsoft calls Xbox One X Enhanced, are the best showpieces for your new Xbox One X hardware, especially if you're pairing it with a 4K TV.

In addition to running in 4K, Xbox One X Enhanced games come with other clear upgrades. Players with 1080p resolution screens get supersampling on all games, which means the 4K games will still look better on your 1080p HDTV, even if it doesn't support 4K. Enhanced games also feature faster load times and better frame rates all around, all of which should alleviate a few long-standing criticisms of the Xbox One.

Read more