It feels like the release date for the upcoming Avatar sequels has faced countless delays over the years. For a while, they seemed ready to start production a couple years ago, but obviously that never came to pass. Now, the next film in the soon-to-be saga of Avatar films is slated to hit theaters in 2020.
This will mean that it’s been over ten years since the first film hit theaters, long past the prime time to release a sequel. So what was with the delay? Speaking with Vanity Fair, filmmaker James Cameron gave a reason, taking umbrage with the word “delay” in the process.
“I wouldn’t call them delays. It was highly optimistic that we could start quickly until scripts are written. If there’s no scripts, there’s nothing, right? The scripts took four years. You can call that a delay, but it’s not really a delay because from the time we pushed the button to really go make the movies [until now,] we’re clicking along perfectly. We’re doing very well because of all the time that we had to develop the system and the pipeline and all that. We weren’t wasting time, we were putting it into tech development and design. So when all the scripts were approved, everything was designed. Every character, every creature, every setting. In a funny way it was to the benefit of the film because the design team had more time to work. . . . Most of the actors, the key principals, have all read all four scripts, so they know exactly what their character arcs are, they know where they’re going, they know how to modulate their arc now across the first two films. We all know where we’re supposed to be dramatically in the saga, and that’s great. Let’s face it, if Avatar 2 and 3 don’t make enough money, there’s not going to be a 4 and 5. They’re fully encapsulated stories in and of themselves. It builds across the five films to a greater kind of meta narrative, but they’re fully formed films in their own right, unlike, say, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, where you really just had to sort of go, ‘Oh, shit, all right, well I guess I better come back next year.’ Even though that all worked and everybody did.”
Indeed giving all the actors the roadmap for the next saga of films is indeed quite the luxury, but the tech behind this film can’t be overlooked either. Recently, Cameron spoke regarding filming motion capture underwater — something that’s never been done before. That’ll likely help to make the underwater scenes more realistic and engrossing than ever before.
Also of note is that Cameron, for the first time, discussed the possibility of Avatar 4 and 5 not getting made should the other two not work out. Looks like the specter of failure is always there when it comes to filmmaking, no matter how big a filmmaker one is.
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SOURCE: Vanity Fair