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James Cameron can’t write all three Avatar sequels alone. And he especially can’t write them alone at the same time. That’s why he enlisted the help of four writersRick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Josh Friedman and Shane Salerno. The five of them sat in a room for five months, eight hours a day, breaking down the stories for each sequel. It wasn’t until the end of the process that Cameron finally assigned each writer (or team) a film. In that process, it seems the breakdown of who is writing which sequel was misreported in the press. In a new New York Times article, it’s been corrected. Read about the Avatar sequel writers below. Read More »

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James Cameron never sets easy goals for himself: a liquid metal Terminator, the greatest tragedy of all-time as a love story, create a whole new world. That streak continues with Cameron’s next three films, a trilogy of sequels to 2009′s sensation, Avatar.

Cameron has been working on the sequels for years now, with the first one set for release in December of 2016. The reason for the delay is Cameron wants to shoot all three films simultaneously and this time technology isn’t holding him back. It’s good old fashioned writing.

When you follow up the biggest hit in box office history, audiences expect something great. They expect something even greater from the director of two of the best sequels of all time, Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Aliens. So Cameron took his sweet time making sure the scripts were right.

At the LA Times’ Hero Complex Film Festival this past weekend, he explained exactly how that happened. He spent the first year of actual development writing 1,500 pages of notes and then hired four writersJosh FriedmanRick Jaffa and Amanda Silver and Shane Salerno - to help him write the scripts from those idea. To manage all those minds, Cameron looked back to his experiences writing Dark Angel for inspiration.

Below, read how James Cameron used television to help write the three Avatar sequels. Read More »

Salinger

Practically every high school kid in America is familiar with Catcher in the Rye, one of the most iconic English-language novels of the modern era. But far less is known about its author, the notoriously reclusive J.D. Salinger. Shane Salerno‘s documentary Salinger sets out to change that.

Piecing together photos, documents, and film footage left behind by the writer, along with interviews with his acquaintances, Salinger tries to get to the heart of this enigmatic figure. Along the way, Salerno reportedly made a bombshell discovery. I won’t spoil it here, but feel free to Google around if you’re curious. Hit the jump to watch the latest trailer.

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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]

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we try and understand what some kids from across the pond are saying, find fifteen reasons to keep a positive attitude, shortchange the government on our taxes, keep our hands off ourselves, I give you my one musical recommendation of the year, and find out what J.D. Salinger has been up to all those years in the dark. Read More »

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The trailer for Salinger plays like a great thriller, especially with the opening scene establishing the capture of one of very few photographs of reclusive author J.D. Salinger. The man who wrote The Catcher in the Rye withdrew completely from the public eye in the wake of his sensational success. That only enhanced the appeal of the book, and the man, and so the nature of J.D. Salinger has been one of the enduring mysteries of the late 20th century.

Savages screenwriter Shane Salerno, fascinated by Salinger, has worked on this documentary for the past few years, recruiting many recognizable Hollywood types to talk about precisely why many of us are so fascinated with the author. There are some lurid flourishes here meant to draw an audience in — the questions about Salinger’s private life, the effect of the war on his character, and his unpublished works, just for starters.

But those are also the long-unanswered questions about the man, and as always with mysterious creators, there’s the sense that answers could offer some insight into how he did what he did. Whether this doc really offers answers remains to be seen, but if nothing else it may frame the questions in a new way. Read More »

Would you like to see Leonardo DiCaprio playing a WWII-era character raised in Japan, trained as an assassin and playing a part in the political power games of the early ’50s? Warner Bros. is thinking you might, and so the studio is developing a film based on Don Winslow‘s novel Satori, which features exactly that sort of character. Read More »

From Weeds to weed — Demian Bichir is making the move into Oliver Stone‘s world. The director is making Savages, based on the book by Don Winslow. He already has quite the cast lined up: Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson play up and coming pot dealers coerced into working for a drug cartel when their girlfriend O (Blake Lively) is kidnapped. John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Emile Hirsch, Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro are all in the cast, and now Demian Bichir has signed on, too. Read More »

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