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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Production is currently underway on the first two of four sequels to the 2009 film Avatar. James Cameron has been chipping away at the block of these sequels for years now, and only recently has he been able to definitively pin down when they’d be showing off this sequel of films.

RELATED – James Cameron On All Those Avatar Delays

When the first film hit theaters, it was a mammoth success. However, in the years since then, enthusiasm has waned for these sequels, with many fans worried that the story would be one not worth following. Speaking at the TCA, Cameron seemed to imply that he fully understands the need for the story of these films to work.

“It doesn’t matter how much you dress it up with great production design and great visual effects. If the story is not working, if you don’t connect to the characters, it’s just simply not going to work. It doesn’t matter how much you dress it up with great production design and great visual effects. If the story is not working, if you don’t connect to the characters, it’s just simply not going to work. Of course, we can’t afford for it not to work, the budget level that we are dealing with. But, of course, you always have to give yourself permission as an artist to fail no matter what the stakes are. You’ve got to try stuff. The least safe thing you can do is try to be safe.”

Whenever speaking about James Cameron, it’s easy to point to the technology. More often than not, he tends to set out to make his films with the intent of breaking some sort of technological barrier. To hear him discuss the importance of story is actually pretty comforting.

While these Avatar sequels still fall into that pattern of being tech-focused, at least Cameron is focusing on the story. Additionally, he discussed one big lesson he learned from the first Avatar:

“I think that the lesson for me from the first film that I’ve applied to the new films is that the more fantastic the imagery, the more otherworldly and the more you are pushing out to the edge of what’s possible in terms of bringing imaginative imagery to the screen, the more it has to be grounded in relationship and in truth and in heart. And so I’m hopefully doing that in spades with the new films.”

What do you think of Cameron’s comments? Do they get you any more excited for Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5? Let us know down below!

Avatar 2 hits theaters on December 18, 2020.

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SOURCE: IGN

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.