James Cameron: Avatar 4 will be a prequel

Avatar

There have been some conflicting reports of late on what exactly director James Cameron has in mind for the future of his Avatar movie franchise. In June, comments made by Avatar star Sigourney Weaver led us to believe that Cameron was planning to shoot three Avatar sequels back to back to back. Then, last week, Cameron’s long-time collaborator and Avatar co-producer Jon Landau told the Courier Post Online that while Cameron was planning to shoot both Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 in short order, Avatar 4 was not yet on the man’s short term schedule.

While that leaves us wondering when/if Avatar 4 might hit theaters, we can confirm that James Cameron wants to make a fourth Avatar film. At a recent press event to promote the September 10 release of a new Blu-ray Collector’s Edition of Cameron’s massive hit movie Titanic, MTV asked the director what plans he has for the future of the Avatar series. Though Cameron is a bit vague on the specifics of Avatar 4, he makes it plain that the inevitable movie would be a prequel and that it would kick off the second arc of Cameron’s overarching Avatar storyline.

“I have an idea for a fourth,” Cameron said. “I haven’t really put pen to paper on it, but basically it goes back to the early expeditions of Pandora, and kind of what went wrong with the humans and the Na’vi and what that was like to be an explorer and living in that world.”

“Because when we drop in, even in the first film in Avatar 1, as it will be known in the future, we’re dropping into a process that’s 35 years in to a whole colonization. That will complete an arc and if that leads into more, we’ll start, not imitating Star Wars, but it’s a logical thing to do because we’ll have completed the thematic arc by the end of three. The only thing left to do is go back to see what it was like on those first expeditions and create some new characters that then become legacy characters in later films.”

That’s an ambitious plan, especially given that Cameron is talking about a film that is still hypothetical and won’t even enter pre-production for at least four years. Then again, Cameron goes on to tell MTV that making Avatar sequels should be far, far easier now that the first movie has laid the technological and canonical ground work for Cameron’s Avatar universe. “It was a hideously complex process to make [Avatar] and a lot has been said about that, but we don’t want [the sequels] to be done in the same prototypical way as the first one, we want it to be a much smoother workflow just for creativity reasons,” Cameron added.

That’s great news for Avatar fans, but we have to wonder if perhaps this far-reaching scheme isn’t a bit overly ambitious. What happens to this franchise if Avatar 2 is a flop? Will Cameron drop his planned third and fourth Avatar films, or will the director be forced to make them regardless of fiscal gain simply because he’s already put so much effort into mapping out the tale he wants to tell? We have faith in James Cameron — even his early work under Roger Corman is surprisingly watchable — but we worry that the man may be biting off more than even his massively popular, intensely wealthy jaws can chew. 

Then again, like we said, Avatar 4 is a long, long ways off. It seems a bit premature to worry about a film that won’t materialize until the end of the decade, so instead let’s all start grilling Cameron about the far more imminent Avatar 2. Isn’t it odd how little we know about that film compared to the hypothetical fourth Avatar movie?

Movies & TV

A ‘Venom’ sequel is on its way, and Spider-Man could play a role

'Venom' screenwriter Jeff Pinker confirms that a follow-up to Sony's Spider-Man spin-off is in the works. Could a certain friendly neighborhood webslinger join the action? Pinker says that it's "not impossible."
Gaming

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ ‘Bumblebee,’ ‘Alita,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailer for Avengers: Endgame, as well as new trailers for Alita: Battle Angel and Bumblebee.
Home Theater

Kill your cable and switch to streaming with our painless guide

If you're going to quit cable or satellite for a streaming TV solution, you're going to want to get it right the first time. We've outlined exactly how to get started, step by step. Follow our lead, and you'll never look back.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Movies & TV

Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ sequel conjures up a director and a release date

Doctor Strange director and co-writer Scott Derrickson will return to helm the Sorcerer Supreme's next big-screen adventure. Filming will begin in 2020, after Strange's mysterious Avengers: Endgame fate is resolved.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Movies & TV

Our first look at 'The Punisher' season 2 hints at January 2019 premiere

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero, Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Home Theater

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ season 2 gets a new, Spock-heavy trailer

CBS has released a new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery season 2, which premieres January 17 on CBS All Access. The new trailer features series newcomers Spock and Christopher Pike prominently.
Movies & TV

Netflix is testing an instant scene-replay feature, but would you use it?

Ever felt like Netflix was missing a scene-replay button? The company is currently trialing a feature that lets you skip back to the start of the scene you just watched, though early tests appear to be annoying some viewers.
Movies & TV

'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' is one of the hero's best movies ever

One of Spider-Man's most memorable big-screen adventures, animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse simultaneously feels like nothing we've ever seen before and a tale that feels familiar in all the best ways.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.