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James Cameron Sees Writing on the Wall, Says Avatar Sequels Will Happen

Cameron is vindicated as Way of Water gets closer to reaching $2 billion worldwide.

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Sam Worthington, Cliff Curtis, and Kate Winslet in Avatar: The Way of Water.
Image: Disney

We’re only a week into 2023, but Avatar: The Way of Water has continued to dominate the box office since its mid-December 2022 release. Having basically wiped the floor with any other competition in theaters during the month (and even the year’s previous big juggernaut Top Gun Maverick), it’s only a matter of time before it reaches $2 billion. And that means James Cameron’s grand ambitions for the science fantasy series will play out in full.

Cameron was a guest on this week’s Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace over at HBO Max, and he said that “we’re going to be okay” as Way of Water seems poised to pretty much reach that $2 billion benchmark, and that he’s prepared to make Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 into reality. “It looks like I can’t wiggle out of this, I’m gonna have to do these other sequels,” said Cameron, clearly taking the piss. He added that he expects some meeting with Disney in the near future regarding Avatar 3. “I know what I’m going to be doing the next six or seven years.”

Both Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 are written, continued Cameron, and like with the third movie, some of Avatar 4's footage has already been shot to avoid the younger actors visibly aging up between films. To some degree, his planning ahead makes sense: Avatar 3 is already set for a late December 2024 release, and the still untitled fourth and fifth films were scheduled for late December releases in respectively 2026 and 2028 some time ago. And with the box office numbers to show it, Cameron’s decision to get ahead of the game has definitely paid off. “We’ve begun a franchise at this point. We’ve begun a saga that can now play out over multiple films.”


Recently, he also said that his plans for Avatar 3 would be to include the Ash People (seriously), the franchise’s first Na’vi villains, who reside in Pandora’s volcanic region. The apparent plan for the series is to work its way through the four elements—y’know, water, earth, fire, air, from when the four nations lived in harmony long ago. Producer Jon Landau has also talked about using Avatar 5 as a reason to take the series to Earth, so the Sully clan, and Zoe Saladana’s Neytiri in particular, can see how the planet’s faring. Unless something really goes wrong, and if Cameron can’t find another director to eventually pass the baton off to, it looks like the franchise will keep on keeping on.

[via The Hollywood Reporter]

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