“The King Of The World” James Cameron is in my stomping grounds at the moment, promoting a live Cirque du Soleil show based on his smash hit film Avatar. The show, which is called “Toruk: The First Flight” and serves as something of a sequel, will explore the dragon-like creatures from the film. It just kicked off a four-night run in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center. While chatting with Variety about “Toruk,” Cameron took some time to talk about his ambitious Avatar sequels- of which there are four.
For starters, Cameron dropped a tidbit about the point of view of the next Avatar films, describing them as a family saga. Here he is, in his own words:
“The storyline in the sequels really follows Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) andtheir children. Itâ€™s more of a family saga about the struggle with the humans.”
He also took some time to lament that the process of making a Hollywood film isn’t more like the creative process of putting together a Cirque du Soleil show.
“I love the culture of Cirque du Soleil, how they think, how they empower and enable the artist. I wish Hollywood was more like the way Cirque runs, just in terms of the corporate mentality. Hollywoodâ€™s all about getting really creative people and then just putting the thumbscrews to them until they cry. Cirque du Soleil is exactly the opposite. Theyâ€™ll say, â€˜No, youâ€™re not being crazy enough. Weâ€™ve seen stuff like that before. Do something weâ€™ve never seen. Go nuts.'”
Lastly, on getting the aforementioned Avatar sequels to you, how does he feel about the proposed Christmas 2018 release that’s been announced for the first one?
“We havenâ€™t moved that target yet, but we will if we need to. The important thing for me is not when the first one comes out but the cadence of the release pattern. I want them to be released as close together as possible. If itâ€™s an annual appointment to show up at Christmas, I want to make sure that weâ€™re able to fulfill on that promise.”
Of course, something he should probably consider is that Star Wars has pretty much stepped in and hijacked that “annual appointment to show up at Christmas.” The Force Awakens was last December; Rogue One will be this December; Episode VIII will be December 2017; And while the Untitled Han Solo film is currently slated for May 2018, both TFA and VIII were supposed to be summer releases until they got bumped to December, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens with Solo.
Anyhoo. That’s the latest from Cameron and the sequels he’s planning for the #1 worldwide movie of all time.
Now cue up the folks in the comments below who think the fact that Avatar had similarities to other fairy tales matters at all.