Recently Fox News had a chat with director James Cameron about his upcoming sequels to his biggest-blockbuster-ever, blue-aliens-in-the-rainforest movie Avatar. Strangely enough, they framed the interview around the idea of economic growth for America (which is especially weird given the anti-industry, anti-imperialist message of the first film), but they also managed to get some quotes about his filming plans and how he’s approaching the writing process for the next two films.
Cameron said, “We’re shooting two films back-to-back, so I’m writing two scripts, not one, which will complete a free-film (sic) story arc – not really a trilogy, but just an overall character arc so I’m pretty excited about that.” He also seems to think that there are some big expectations for a follow-up to Avatar, but he’s trying not to sweat it, “There’s always an expectation. I had to deal with that after The Terminator back in 1984. All of a sudden I had a big hit movie and it was ‘what are you doing next?’ But my job is take the audience on a journey and entertain them. The second I am sitting down writing, I just go to Pandora. I don’t think about that stuff, about standing on a red carpet. It has its own life, really. The characters have their own lives.” Even though Avatar looked amazing and brought in a lot of money, I can’t recall too many people being much enamored with the script, so I don’t think he’s quite got the huge expectations for an Avatar sequel that he did for a sequel to the awesome The Terminator; but if he’s able to deliver on an Avatar 2 at the level he did for T2, one of the top three action movies of all time, then we may all be in for a treat when we go back to Pandora ourselves.
On the business, jobs creating end of things, Cameron said, “We’re doing a lot of preliminary work right now on new software and new animation techniques and so on. We’re creating a new facility in Manhattan Beach …” But that didn’t seem to be enough of a quote to base an entire article on job growth, so Peter Gend, who is a visual effects instructor at the Art Institute of California, added, “It’s absolutely going to generate jobs. There is a plethora of visual effects artists and a lot of them are out of work right now, so it’s a really great place to get a lot of talented people. What goes into his motion capture process is really different than what anyone else does.” So take that, foreign audiences that made the original Avatar such a huge economic success! These movies are going to make our economy unstoppable! USA! USA! USA!