Four years ago James Cameron’s “Avatar” made a huge impact on the film industry landscape. Raking in over $2 billion worldwide, it became the highest grossing film of all time and altered the business pattern of distribution by (unfortunately) ushering in the era of inflated ticket prices for 3D movies.
But being a Goliath like that leaves you victim to a David, and of course, that was the narrative that saw “The Hurt Locker” — from Cameron’s ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow — dominate the circuit en route to Oscar wins for Best Picture and Best Director. But since that big payday, it has been very clear that Cameron is in the “Avatar” business as a franchise was set in motion. Today we find out definitively that the “Avatar” brand won’t be a trilogy, however. It’ll actually be a quadrilogy (or tetralogy, if you prefer the Greek).
This all squares with what “Avatar” star Sigourney Weaver said way back in January of 2012, a claim that was later refuted by producer Jon Landau.
Fox announced today that Cameron has hired several writers to work on the sequels: Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”), Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Jurassic Park IV”) and Shane Salerno (“Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem,” “Savages”).
The three movies will be filmed simultaneously. They are set for theaters in December of 2016, 2017 and 2018. Cameron will be producing with Landau once again and will also be working with WETA on effects, which should reflect an even bigger jump in scope and detail from the first Oscar-winning film.
“Avatar” was nominated for nine Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. It picked up wins for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects.