By now, you likely know that James Cameron is planning a full-on trilogy of sequels to the top-grossing film of all-time, 2009’s Avatar. He’s hired several people to help him co-write each of the tree films, and the plan has been to film all of them together and then release them a year apart. Now, the original plan was for this all to begin at the end of 2016, but the Associated Press is reporting that Cameron is pumping the brakes a bit on that timeline.
Cameron says he’s delaying the whole thing a year, meaning we won’t see another Avatar film until later 2017, a full 8 years after the original became a worldwide phenomenon. His reasoning, though, makes the decision hard to question. Quality control has always been a huge factor in how Cameron approaches his films, which is why he never seems to be in a rush to simply “churn something out.” It took him 12 years to follow up what was the top-grossing film of all time, Titanic, which was Avatar. The man likes taking his time, and you can’t argue with that since his films have all been so successful.
“There’s a layer of complexity in getting the story to work as a saga across three films that you don’t get when you’re making a stand-alone film,” the writer-director said, after saying that the process has been “very involved.”
“We’re writing three simultaneously. And we’ve done that so that everything tracks throughout the three films. We’re not just going to do one and then make up another one and another one after that,” he said of the scripts, which are expected to be completed this month. “And parallel with that, we’re doing all the design. So we’ve designed all the creatures and the environments.“
The director also seems keen to not rely on cliffhangers, as films produced and released this way have typically done. It’s important to him that each film stands on its own.