The movie industry has changed radically since “Avatar” was released in 2009. 3D movies are still going strong, but the novelty-factor that Avatar rode to become the highest-grossing film of all time is largely gone. It’s not really wise to bet against director James Cameron though.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of Avatar. It was a pretty film, obviously designed to make the most of motion-capture, CGI and the new 3D film technology, but it was only barely compelling besides eye candy.
Have you watched Avatar at home lately? Can you make it through the entire film? I can’t. I’d rather go work out, or have a root canal.
We also have a number of very strong blockbuster franchises that are producing films at a breakneck pace. I think the moviegoing public is more than happy to support many quality film franchises, but Avatar hasn’t established itself as more than a one-hit-wonder at this point.
So now the rumor that longtime collaborator and legendary composer James Horner (who has tragically died since) floated that James Cameron is shooting FOUR SEQUELS to Avatar is now confirmed as true.
To achieve this Herculean feat, Cameron is actually filming all of the sequels at the same time:
It’s not back-to-back. It’s really all one big production. It’s more the way you would shoot a miniseries. So we’ll be shooting across all [AVATAR scripts] simultaneously. So Monday I might be doing a scene from Movie Four, and Tuesday I’m doing a scene from Movie One. … We’re working across, essentially, eight hours of story. … It’s a saga. It’s like doing all three GODFATHER films at the same time.
It might be slightly early in the process to compare these Avatar sequels to the Godfather films… unless you’re shooting for the quality of The Godfather Part III in which case you’ve got a much lower bar to hurdle.
James Cameron’s record
I’m not a big fan of either Avatar or of Titanic but plenty of other people are. I am, however, a huge… HUGE, fan of his early work including both Terminator films and Aliens, to name a few.
Cameron’s movies have made more than the annual GDP of many countries. He’s also made a highly-successful career by doing whatever he wants for several decades and I deeply admire him for that. Avatar is clearly his baby and he’s all-in on this world.
So, are we ready to support 4 sequels?
I think the public has moved on from Avatar.
It’s been 10 years since we were wowed at the theater and we’ve seen some stunning successful blockbusters since that time. Many of those blockbusters are using the same special effects techniques that made Avatar stand out, and they have had a decade to establish their own fanbase.
Even television productions like The Mandalorian are now employing the bleeding-edge tech that Avatar used to have as a competitive advantage. Frankly, audiences are not dazzled by that look now… they expect it.
The market that James Cameron will enter with his four Avatar sequels is going to present some exceptionally stiff competition.
Cameron and company have a considerable sales job to get audiences excited about Avatar again.
But, you’d seriously be an idiot to suggest that Cameron doesn’t know what he’s doing. His track record is insanely solid. You know he’s going to bring fantastic visuals to the sequels. Hopefully, he’ll bring better writing and acting along for the ride as well.
Hello, my name is Dirk Hooper. I have a deep passion for writing that has led me to win a few awards. I’ve had work published at Huffington Post, Slate Magazine, Business Insider, Quartz, The Sporting News, and much more.
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