Avatar

Avatar drew a lot of story comparisons to Dances With Wolves and Pocahontas when it first came out, but James Cameron thinks the sequels will put a different cinematic classic in mind. At a recent press conference, he said that while the first Avatar was “very Jake-centric,” Avatars 2 through 3 would be more like a Godfather-esque saga centered on Jake’s family.

Hit the jump for his comments, plus updates on the films’ shooting location and release date.

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Stephen Lang Avatar

James Cameron is performing another resurrection with his sequels to the biggest movie of all time, Avatar. After already revealing Sigourney Weaver’s character, who died in the first film, would be returning, it now seems a second deceased character will return in Avatar 2. Colonel Miles Quaritch, played by Stephen Lang, will return not only for Avatar 2, but Avatar 3 and 4 as well.

“I’m not going to say exactly HOW we’re bringing him back, but it’s a science fiction story, after all,” Cameron told Deadline. “His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga.”

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avatartank

Briefly: We often get a bit suspicious when actors announce filming dates, but in the case of Avatar and Sam Worthington, he might know what’s really up. On an interview with Australian radio station Nova 96.9, he said that James Cameron will shoot Avatar 2 starting in October 2014. More specifically, he said, ”we are going to start this time next year and we will do two, three and four. I’ll be grateful if it finishes.”

Quotes are going around saying that “the second, third and fourth films will be filmed in their entirety within a year of the beginning of the production.” I haven’t heard Worthington’s interview or seen direct quotes to that effect (that one is a paraphrase that is being passed around) but that does seem like a logical step. It’s been four years since the release of Avatar, and the second through fourth films are slated for each December from 2016 to 2018.

Arnold Tank Rides 2

Even if audiences didn’t flock to see Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Last Stand, they might be a lot more interested to see Schwarzenegger re-team with the guy who helped define him as an action star.

And so we have a new report that Arnie will be the bad guy in Avatar 2 for director James Cameron, who directed the actor in The Terminator, Terminator 2, and True Lies.

Talk of a potential fourth collaboration between the two sprang up in 2011, when they journeyed together to visit a rain forest in Brazil, where Cameron said he wanted to bring the Avatar 2 cast for training. As Cameron took more and more time to put Avatar 2 together, that talk died down. Now that he’s getting closer to a shoot, with a crop of new writers working on sequel scripts, the “Arnie in Avatar 2” talk is back.

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James Cameron is sending mixed messages today. First up, the award-winning filmmakers says he fully expects all future entertainment to be in 3D. Then, a few hours later, he reveals he’s hired noted sci-fi writer Steven Charles Gould to write four standalone Avatar novels that’ll expand on the stories Cameron will tell in his three sequels, currently scheduled for 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Last time I checked, novels were a form of entertainment and can’t be turned into 3D. We’ll explore both pieces of news below. Read More »

Blade Runner

If the idea of a Taxi Driver 2 sounds stupid to you, know that Paul Schrader agrees. As a matter of fact, he thinks the concept pitched to him by Robert De Niro in the ’90s was “the dumbest idea that I’ve ever heard.” Also after the jump:

  • Keanu Reeves offers a small Bill & Ted 3 update
  • Sean Young calls for a Blade Runner 2 boycott
  • James Cameron is finalizing multiple Avatar scripts
  • Bravo kills development on their Heathers TV show
  • Bruce Willis was too expensive for Expendables 3
  • 300: Rise of an Empire gets rated R by the MPAA
  • See an early version of the Fast & Furious 7 poster

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cameron-deepsea

Briefly: Yesterday we heard that James Cameron had brought in Sarah Connors Chronicles writer Josh Friedman to help script Avatar 2. Turns out, there’s a lot more going on in the Avatar camp than that one personnel addition.

In fact, Fox and Cameron are now officially planning three Avatar sequels. The film trio will be shot in a manner akin to Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth films — that is, all films shooting more or less as one — with release windows planned for Decembers in 2016, 2017, and 2018. We’ve heard before that there could be a fourth film in the series, and Sigourney Weaver recently said that there was a plan to shoot them back to back. Filming begins next year.

In addition to Friedman’s script work on the second film, Cameron has recruited Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of Planet of The Apes) to write the third and Shane Salerno (Salinger) to script the fourth in the expanded suite of sequels. [Deadline]

Avatar

Briefly: James Cameron has been hard at work — or at least at work in some sense — on the Avatar sequels for a few years now. There has been a lot of tech development done to bring new visions of Pandora to life, for example. But while the technological underpinning of the sequels is more or less in place, the direct roadmap to get to the end of the second movie is not. Cameron, in short, has been sorta stalled out scripting Avatar 2 and 3. Now he’s bringing in outside help.

The Wrap reports that Cameron has turned to Josh Friedman, creator of the sci-fi TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, to add to the Avatar sequel script. That’s an interesting choice, with Friedman having made a major work derived from Cameron’s own creation. All camps refused to comment on the story. We don’t have any new story details, or an update on the production and release timeline. At this point, Avatar 2 isn’t likely to hit before the end of 2015.

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