There are a billion Avatar sequels in production, but only if the first two are successes.
James Cameron has been working on multiple sequels for Avatar for some time now. It’s a risky endeavor considering how many people even remember that Avatar is a thing. I kid. It’s just that it has been so long since the original released and shattered box office records that interest has wanned on a sequel. If you remember Avatar really was responsible for the 3D boom in Hollywood and now it will be returning at the end of it all. It is poetic in a way.
Production has begun on the first two Avatar sequels and they will be making use of brand new, underwater motion-capture. Cameron has always been a director that pushed boundaries when it comes to technology and that comes at a steep price. When speaking to Vanity Fair recently, Cameron explained that if Avatar 2 & 3 don’t make bank, then we won’t be seeing 4 & 5. Here is the excerpt from that interview:
Let’s face it, if Avatar 2and 3 don’t make enough money, there’s not going to be a 4 and 5. They’re fully encapsulated stories in and of themselves. It builds across the five films to a greater kind of meta narrative, but they’re fully formed films in their own right, unlike, say, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, where you really just had to sort of go, “Oh, shit, all right, well I guess I better come back next year.” Even though that all worked and everybody did.
Thankfully it looks as though Cameron is making 2 & 3 a completed story. That means if we never get 4 & 5 story pursuits will get a finale worthwhile, even if the story was never Avatar‘s strong suit. Fox has invested a lot of money into the Avatar franchise and they did so on the back of the most successful film ever made. It would make sense that while they would love to be in the James Cameron business for a long time, they should hedge their bets and only commit to making two more Avatar films, with the possibilities of two more. We’ll see if the audience shows up for more Avatar when the sequel is set to open on December 18th, 2020.