Greetings Movie Geeks!
It’s time for the annual news update from James Cameron, about the future of the Avatar franchise. (If you can call it a franchise) I know….I know, he’s been talking about sequels ever since the original film came out in 2009! It just seems that Cameron is more interested in writing screenplays for his Avatar world, than actually putting them to film.
In an interview with Famous Monsters of Filmland, Cameron detailed his plans on shooting Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5 concurrently, like a miniseries.
“It’s not back-to-back. It’s really all one big production. It’s more the way you would shoot a miniseries. So we’ll be shooting across all [AVATAR scripts] simultaneously. So Monday I might be doing a scene from Movie Four, and Tuesday I’m doing a scene from Movie One. … We’re working across, essentially, eight hours of story. It’s going to be a big challenge to keep it all fixed in our minds, exactly where we are, across that story arc at any given point. It’s going to be probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I’m sure the actors will be challenged by that as well. It’s like, ‘No, no, no, no, this person hasn’t died yet, so you’re still in this phase of your life.’ It’s a saga. It’s like doing all three GODFATHER films at the same time.”
The current plan is to release Avatar 2 in December 2018, with each sequel following every 2 years. So why does James Cameron feel the need to shoot 4 movies at the same time, instead of concentrating on making one really great film? Some may say it’s because he’s an ego maniac! Claiming that the huge success he’s had with films like Terminator 2, True Lies, Titanic and Avatar have sent him over the edge, thinking he can do no wrong. It’s the same type of extravagance that led to the downfall of George Lucas!
It’s true that Cameron’s success has allowed him the creative freedom to pursue his own interests and sometimes those interests turn into an obsession. As an example, we lost Cameron for many years to the Titanic, even after the film came and went. He became so obsessed with the sunken ship, that he began visiting the wreckage and documenting his experiences, which led to the film, Ghosts of the Abyss. He even spent his own money, to invent submersible technology to help him explore the wreckage. When you’re “King of the World,” you can pretty much do what you want.
Cameron is the type of man that has to constantly one up himself. If he’s going to make a sequel to The Terminator, it’s going to be the biggest action spectacle ever put to film and it’s going to push the boundaries of cgi. If he’s going to make a movie about the Titanic, he’s going to build the entire damn boat to scale and sink it for real! And if Cameron’s going to “remake” Dances with Wolves in space, than he’s going to invent the entire planet, eco-system, inhabitants and language AND he’s going to push the boundaries of cgi, adding 3D to the mix!
So how does Cameron top that? He spends the next 7 years writing Avatar screenplays, inventing god knows what in preparation to shoot 4 movies at once! I absolutely love the audacity! Is there even an audience left for Avatar? I know it’s the top grossing movie of all time, but where the hell did it go? The film has vanished from pop culture entirely! When was the last time you heard someone quoting the movie? When was the last time you saw an Avatar halloween costume? If not for Cameron’s name and the excitement over the incredible special effects and new 3D technology, would Avatar even be remembered at all? Personally, I don’t think so.
Mr. Cameron, I’d be okay with another trip to Avatar land….but I’m not sure I need 4 movies worth. Specially now that the hype is over and the original is all but forgotten. Please, I implore you….make some new films! Explore some new territory….invent some new things. Find something new to obsess over!
But if you don’t…..no worries!
The Geek Abides….