Not content simply making a sequel to a successful film, James Cameron has tacked on a third Avatar sequel to the two he already has in development. Deadline reports that all three films will be shot simultaneously in 2014, to be released in December 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively. Either because of the monumental task ahead of him or because he’s finally learned that screenwriting is not his strong suit, Cameron will be teaming with different writers for each sequel script. Avatar 2 will be co-written by Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds), Avatar 3 by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), and Avatar 3 by Shane Salerno (Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem).
While this makes Cameron seem a little like a crazy person, remember that the Lord of the Rings series was filmed the same way, and Cameron was already planning to do two Avatars back-to-back in the first place. But at the same time, this Avatar-stravaganza is likely to be one of the riskiest moves Hollywood has ever taken. The first Avatar was one of the most expensive films ever made. Presumably shooting three at a time will demolish that record like a bulldozer composed entirely of other people’s money. There’s no doubt that the sequels will pull in lots of cash, but if the public was to suddenly lose their Avatar fever with future Avatars not yet released, this could be disastrous.
Of course, that very thing was what analysts said right before the first Avatar made several billion dollars at the box office. Expect these movies to completely rejuvenate the global economy no matter how dull (or incredible) they end up being.