– by Joseph Jammer Medina

AvatarFour years ago, James Cameron gave us Avatar. The sci-fi adventure became the highest-grossing film of all time, earning a staggering $2.8 billion worldwide. Since then, talks of a sequel eventually became two sequels and then, finally, a whole new trilogy of films. In a recent interview, Cameron opened up about his plans for the forthcoming films.

For one thing, don’t expect them any time soon. The first sequel is scheduled to release seven years after the first, in 2016. Also, don’t expect Cameron and his team to rest on their laurels. Despite pioneering new filmmaking technologies with the first film- something he’s done throughout his storied career- he says he’s currently got a team of experts working on brand new software for the sequels. One of the biggest technological hurdles they’re preparing to leap over is good, old-fashioned H2O. After explaining that it is extremely difficult to animate water and make it look photo-realistic, the director says, “There’s a fair bit of underwater stuff. It’s been inaccurately said that the second film takes place underwater. That’s not true.” He continued, “There are underwater scenes and surface-water scenes having to do with indigenous ocean cultures that are distributed across the three films. I said ‘Joe [Lettieri, of WETA], you know, there’s a lot of water,’ and he basically said ‘Bring it on. We’re ready.'”

Speaking of WETA, the folks behind the visual effects seen in the Hobbit and Lord of The Rings films, Cameron intends to film the new trilogy on their home turf of New Zealand- as he did with the first.

On his plans for the upcoming Avatar trilogy, and how he intends to expand the world that he introduced us to in the original film, Cameron says this:

“It’s going to be a lot of new imagery and a lot of new environments and creatures across Pandora. We’re blowing it out all over the place. At first I thought I was going to take it onto other worlds as well, in the same solar system, but it turned out not to be necessary. I mean the Pandora that we have imagined will be a fantasy land that is going to occupy people for decades to come, the way I see it.”

As for Jake Sully, the protagonist played by Sam Worthington in the first movie, Cameron says we’re going to go beyond just Jake:

“It was very Jake-centric. His story seen through his eyes. We spread it around quite a bit more as we go forward. It’s really the story of his family, the family that he creates on Pandora. His extended family. So think of it as a family saga like ‘The Godfather.'”

It’s clear he has big ambitions for the films. He’s never undertaken a multi-part series like this before, so we can only assume that he has a lot he ideas he wants to explore. But considering he’s never gone past a Part 2, one has to wonder if Hollywood’s reigning “King of The World” is biting off more than he can chew. Only time will tell.

SOURCE: Associated Press

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.