Posted on Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 by Angie Han
James Cameron has never been one to half-ass things. So if he really is only making Avatar movies (uh, plus Battle Angel Alita) from here on out, I suppose it makes sense that he’d dive right in by making three at once. The filmmaker has already indicated that he’s thinking of making three Avatar sequels instead of two as originally planned, and now star Sigourney Weaver has confirmed that not only will there be three more Avatars, they’re planning to shoot them back-to-back-to-back. Read her comments after the jump.
Showbiz 411 (via Coming Soon) picked up news of the three Avatar sequels. Weaver is currently tied up with USA’s Political Animals, and will head to the stage for a brief run in a Christopher Durang play at Lincoln Center after that. But beyond that, she’s apparently scheduled to reunite with Cameron for Avatar 2, Avatar 3, and Avatar 4. The star admitted that she has no clue what the timeline is, or what Cameron’s specific plans are. “I just show up,” she said.
The fact that Weaver will be back at all will come as a surprise to some fans of the first, who probably recall that (spoiler alert) her character Grace died at the end of the original movie. But Weaver’s been saying for the better part of a year that she’d be back, and Cameron himself has pointed out, “When you have a science-fiction series, a science-fiction franchise, you’re never dead, unless your DNA is expunged from the universe.” He also suggested “nonlinear storytelling” (i.e., prequels) and “time travel” as possible ways to bring Weaver’s character back in. And if they’re able to figure out a way to bring her back for Avatar 2, there’s no obvious reason she couldn’t also stick around for Avatar 3 and Avatar 4.
The back-to-back-to-back method of shooting makes sense in some ways, since developing an Avatar film takes a lot of time and money. Doing all three at once would save them the energy and costs of breaking everything down and building everything back up for each film. Moreover, it could prove easier to get all the required stars back on board for one long shoot rather than try to get several different schedules to line up three different times.
On the other hand, planning three more sequels on the strength of one blockbuster (one record-breaking, $2.7 billion blockbuster, but still) is a risky move. The first Avatar became as successful as it did by being unlike anything audiences had ever seen before. If Cameron’s not able to bring us something new for the next three installments, moviegoers could well get tired of the franchise by the end of Avatar 2, which would spell bad news for Avatars 3 and 4 as well. No matter how Cameron shoots the films, they won’t be cheap, so there’s a lot of money on the line here.
Then again, it’s always possible that Weaver — to be blunt — doesn’t know what she’s talking about. The star has herself admitted that she doesn’t know when exactly the next Avatar movies will shoot, so it doesn’t sound like the plan is set in stone just yet. Until we hear it from Cameron, or at least someone with more power to set the schedules, it’s probably safer to treat this as rumor for now.