In a wide-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter, director James Cameron has outlined his ambition for the Avatar franchise. On the eve of Avatar: The Way of Water's release, the ever-ambitious Cameron has expressed an interest in developing the sixth and seventh movies in the series. A bold move, given that the third Avatar film has only just completed principal photography, the fourth is largely unfinished and the fifth is a completely unknown quantity.
“I’d be 89 by then,” Cameron says of the sixth and seventh films becoming a possibility. “Obviously, I’m not going to be able to make Avatar movies indefinitely, the amount of energy required. I would have to train somebody how to do this because, I don’t care how smart you are as a director, you don’t know how to do this.”
Still, this is the kind of bullish attitude for which Cameron is renowned. Regarding the next steps, he remains defiantly pragmatic: "We’ll probably finish movie three regardless because it’s all shot. We’d have to really crater for it not to seem like it was worth the additional investment. We’d have to leave a smoking hole in the ground. Now, hopefully, we get to tell the whole thing because five’s better than four, four’s better than three, and three’s better than two.”
Cameron has even managed to spin an entire script from the interval between minutes four and five in The Way of Water. Said script focuses on a new character, Mies 'Spider' Sicorro, played by Jack Champion. In The Way of Water Spider is a human kid who, having been born at the former Pandora military base of Hell's Gate, has now adopted Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) as his surrogate family.
Cameron has reportedly taken that script and built an entire graphic novel out of it, entitled Avatar: The High Ground, and due for publication by Dark Horse Comics (responsible for Hellboy) on December 6th. Once again, this is characteristic of a singular filmmaker who never met an idea he couldn't wrestle to the ground.
Avatar: The Way of Water picks up more than 10 years after the events of the first movie. When Jake, Neytiri and their children are displaced from their Pandora jungle home by old enemy Quaritch (Stephen Lang), they must seek sanctuary with the Metkayina tribe amidst the lush reefs and shores of Pandora's oceans. Kate Winslet reunites with Cameron to play Metkayina leader Ronal while Sigourney Weaver returns to play Jake and Neytiri's adopted daughter, Kiri.
Avatar 3 is scheduled for release on December 20th, 2024, followed by Avatar 4 in December 2026 and Avatar 5 in December 2028.
Are you excited to be heading back to Pandora? Avatar: The Way of Water is released at Cineworld on December 16.