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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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]

Star Wars Avatar

Two of the most anticipated sequels in history will reportedly start filming around the same time. Star Wars Episode VII and Avatar 2 will each begin production early in 2014, according to the producer of one project and star of the other. Bryan Burk, the long-time producer for J.J. Abrams and co-founder of Bad Robot, suggested the window for Star Wars. Zoe Saldana, the star of James Cameron‘s Avatar, mentioned the shooting schedule for Avatar 2. Saldana, who’ll next shoot Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, also confirmed what we’ve already known, that both Avatar 2 and 3 will shoot back to back. Read their quotes below. Read More »

avatar-jc

It’s no secret that parts of James Cameron‘s Avatar sequels will take place underwater. The Oscar-winning filmmaker has been open about this, as has his producer Jon Landau. It’s an environment Cameron’s comfortable with, as we’ve seen not only through Titanic, but through his IMAX documentaries and personal exploration trips.

Setting Avatar 2 underwater poses many issues, however. One big hurdle is the need for Cameron’s fully performance-captured characters to interact in that environment. Well, at a recent conference, Landau revealed they’re currently testing technology to do full performance capture underwater. This would be a huge leap ahead in technology that’s been evolving from Lord of the Rings to Avatar and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Read his quotes and more below. Read More »

Avatar

What’s the timeline for production on James Cameron‘s next film (or next two films) in the Avatar storyline? At this point, despite hopes loosely being pinned on the films shooting this year, Cameron is still only in the scripting stage, and so it seems like the next trip to Pandora is unlikely to take off until 2015 at the very earliest.

Last time we heard anything from the director on the prospect of Avatar sequels, he was hoping to be done writing by the end of February. But we’re nearly at the end of March, and his latest comments make it sound like he’s got a long way to go yet. If only there were some existing books to base the films on. Read More »

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 »

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