Based on a true story.
To give a quick recap, James Cameron confirmed long ago that he’s writing two more Avatar movies, but don’t call it a trilogy. The studio likely wants the first sequel to be finished before the Avatar ride opens at Disney. Don’t get your hopes up too much about that ride; they can only throw in a skosh of blue cat sex before it stops being family friendly.
One thing holding back the project is technological limitations, which is a technical way of saying “James Cameron’s hippie drill hasn’t plowed through Spongebob’s pineapple yet.” That’s not a euphemism, but it should be.
Last month producer Jon Landau said the next Avatar is “four years away”. Last week Deadline reported James Cameron spent $16.7 million on 2,470 acres in New Zealand, “fueling local speculation that he intends to make a significant portion of his two Avatar sequels in New Zealand.” Cameron’s new property is located just 12 miles away from Peter Jackson’s. They need to become best friends immediately so we can draw cartoons of them skipping down the street and drinking one milkshake with two straws at a retro diner. They will both be wearing poodle skirts in our drawings. No, I haven’t been thinking about this often; why do you ask?
But the best update so far comes from Sigourney Weaver, who spoke to Bad Taste at a film festival in Marrakech, Morocco. We’ll let Google Translate handle an excerpt from their interview:
I read early versions of the script, but I can not say anything else James Cameron comes here and kills me. I can say that I’ll be in both, we will turn them one after another and explore worlds that were not touched in the first episode. […] What is certain is that Cameron will begin filming in the new Avatar only after going underwater in a submarine that will build special purpose. I think it should go up to the Mariana Trench. Having put his hand on the Titanic for the 3D version has given him many ideas for narrative.
So it sounds like the two sequels might film back to back, take place in a different part of Pandora (or a different place altogether), and Weaver’s character (Grace Augustine) will return for both movies, somehow. Maybe in flashbacks. Maybe with a Lazarus Pit in an amazing crossover promotion with DC Comics. Okay, maybe not.