The day a movie turns a profit, the vultures come out to pick. More often than not when a movie becomes a hit, people accuse the filmmakers of stealing their ideas and sue them for a taste of the profits. A recent example is the highest grossing movie of all time, Avatar. Writer director James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment are reportedly fighting multiple lawsuits concerning the film, one in particular from a man named Gerald Morawski who accuses Cameron of stealing his pitch about a war between a native tribe and a mining company.

To combat this lawsuit, the filmmaker wrote a 45-page text for the court, nearly a small autobiography, detailing all the points in his life where Avatar began to blossom into an idea. They date back to his childhood. One of the biggest examples, though, is a short film he created in 1978 called Xenogenesis, which Cameron says in the document, contains material that “may be used in the Avatar sequels.” What could that mean? Watch the film yourself and discuss below. Read More »

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Depending on your level of Avatar fandom, the delay between the first film and its eventual sequels could be construed as a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, James Cameron has certainly taken his time writing the two films, meaning we may not see the first one until 2015 at the earliest. That’s a six year gap from the original. However, he’s taking his time because he doesn’t want to rush out an inferior product, so hopefully Avatar 2 and 3 will be worth the wait.

The writer/director attended this week’s New Zealand premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and gave an update on the highly anticipated films. Cameron plans on finishing the screenplays by February and hopes to start filming (possibly in High Frame Rate) in late 2013. Read his quotes and more after the jump. Read More »

Franchises return, franchises go away and franchises start a new in today’s Sequel Bits.

  • James Cameron might add Chinese Na’vi to Avatar 2.
  • The said to be soon-retired Jackie Chan might make Police Story 2013.
  • A major party scene in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will film in Atlanta.
  • Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan share a bed in the first still from Scary Movie 5.
  • Paramount is hoping Tom Cruise‘s Jack Reacher will start its own franchise, and mark the beginning of a franchise focus at the studio.
  • Producer Avi Lerner keep mentioning names he wants for The Expendables 3: Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, the return of Mickey Rourke etc.
  • A sequel to 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later, 28 Months Later, no longer looks likely.

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We recently learned that the (at this point, purely theoretical) fourth Avatar movie would be a prequel, and that Battle Angel would be a few years off. But what of the two confirmed Avatar sequels? With both films scheduled to enter pre-production in January 2013 and Avatar 2 eyeing a 2015 release, James Cameron says he’s about to burrow into his “top secret writing cave” to finish the two scripts by the end of this year — and that one of his challenges will be avoiding what he calls “the Matrix 2” problem.

After the jump, read Cameron’s comments on what he has planned for the sequels. Plus, find out what Pixar and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol director Brad Bird thinks of Cameron’s plans.

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Disney’s World of Avatar Attraction Delayed?

James Cameron is notorious for blowing deadlines when it comes to his movie releases, so it should come as no surprise that he’s no better at sticking to schedules when it comes to theme park attractions.

About a year ago, Walt Disney Co. announced plans for James Cameron’s World of Avatar, a devoted “land” located within Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida. At the time, the company had plans to get construction underway by 2013, with doors likely to open around 2015 or so. But now we’re hearing rumblings that that project may be running behind as well. More details after the jump.

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Casting, rumors, hopes, desires and much more are in this huge holiday edition of Sequel Bits. After the jump read about the following:

  • Producer Jon Landau clarifies the possibility of Avatar 4 and offers an update on 2 and 3.
  • See Chris Pine on the set of Jack Ryan with Kevin Costner and read some thoughts on the tone of Star Trek 2.
  • Is the Iron Patriot going to be in Iron Man 3 after all?
  • Also, Wang Xueqi joins the Shane Black directed sequel in an intriguing role.
  • Screenwriter Alex Garland laid out some thoughts for a possible Dredd 3D sequel.
  • Grown Ups 2 built a set for an outdoor, night time go-kart scene to film indoors and during the day.
  • Director Jeff Wadlow hints that Jim Carrey has, in fact, been cast in Kick-Ass 2.
  • Rick Jaffa, a writer/producer of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, confirms a big franchise staple won’t be in the sequel.

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NO PHOTOS

The best sequel news today is a blast of set photos from the new Mad Max movie that reveal some weapons, vehicles, and bad guys that we haven’t seen before. After the break, you’ll find:

  • Prop and mutant creature designs from George Miller’s in-progress Mad Max: Fury Road,
  • Info on technology developed for James Cameron’s Avatar sequels,
  • International posters for Skyfall and the latest Resident Evil film,
  • And a bit of info on the planned sequel to Top Gun, though the future of that film is now in doubt after the passing of Tony Scott.

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One major sequel is about to go into production, another one has been moved, and there are a few other minor notes in this edition of Sequel Bits. After the jump read about:

  • Legendary Entertainment has released a logo for The Hangover Part III.
  • Actress Lin Shaye said she’d really like to come back for Insidious 2.
  • James Cameron‘s Avatar 2 will not be released until 2015, at the earliest
  • Talks of Avatar 4 are premature but haven’t been ruled out.
  • The Broken Lizard guys say they’ve handed in a script to Super Troopers 2 and it’s likely to happen. Potfest might happen too.

Read More »

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