Recently, James Cameron confirmed at CinemaCon in Las Vegas that he plans to make four more Avatar films with the first sequel to be released in 2018 and the fifth Avatar movie to be released in 2023. As the worldwide highest-grossing film of all time and the second highest domestic gross (just behind The Force Awakens), Avatar stands as one of James Cameron’s most ambitious projects and made waves with its use of CGI.
Talking with Famous Monsters of Filmland, Cameron explains the process of shooting all four Avatar sequels at once:
“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.”
While Cameron is taking a big step by filming all four Avatar movies concurrently, he makes no mistake in trying to compete with the Star Wars franchise:
“My original plan was to release them a year apart, but we’re opening that up. If for no other reason than that I don’t want to land on the same date as one of the STAR WARS sequels. That wouldn’t be fair to them. [Laughs] No, that’s just good business. I don’t want to go head-to-head with STAR WARS. That would be stupid. And hopefully they won’t want to go head to head with us.”