I know the haters are louder, but you don't get to be the biggest moneymaker in the history of film without having a whole lot of fans. You can definitely count me among them, too, as I thought seeing James Cameron's original Avatar in stunning, stereoscopic, motion-capture-heavy 3D was easily one of the most exciting theater-going experiences I've ever had. If you saw it as such, tell me you weren't fully transported to a magical-yet-realistic alien world for the entirety of the film.
So yeah, I'm plenty excited about the FOUR planned sequels that Cameron’s been hard at work on for many years now (by the time all is said and done, he may well have spent more of his life working on Avatar films than not, considering he wrote the initial 80-page treatment in 1994). If you're like me and more than ready to return to the sublime and terrifying land of Pandora, only more fully realized with even more advanced tech, then follow along below to stay up to date on all the latest Avatar sequels news.
We'll be keeping this good and updated for the entirety of the run, all the way through Avatar 5 on December 19, 2025.
- The most recent big jaw dropper is that Stephen Lang's gung-ho Colonel Miles Quaritch is not only alive (at least in some form), but he's also very much the Big Bad in all four sequels. By our keen-eyed commenter Caleb Hale's math, that will make Lang 73 years old when the last Avatar sequel drops.
- We also learned that Matt Gerald (Daredevil) is set to reprise his role of Corporal Lyle Wainfleet, one of Quaritch's loyal soldiers, who also seemingly found himself dead in the last film. So perhaps using the avatar tech, the RDA Corporation has figured out a way to bring folks back from the dead, or at least the very sleepy.
Release Dates (for now, as shared on Earth Day. Sexier titles pending.)
Avatar 2: Dec. 18, 2020 (with a confirmed Sept. 25, 2017 production start)
Avatar 3: Dec. 17, 2021
Avatar 4: Dec. 20, 2024
Avatar 5: Dec. 19, 2025
Zoe Saldana – Neytiri
Sam Worthington – Jake Sully
Sigourney Weaver – Dr. Grace Augustine
Joel David Moore – Norm Spellman
CCH Pounder – Moat
Stephen Lang – Colonel Miles Quaritch
Matt Gerald – Corporal Lyle Wainfleet
*Please note, no fewer than four of the characters on this short list appeared to be quite dead in the first film.
Oona Chaplin – Varang (Charlie's granddaughter and Talisa Stark in Game of Thrones has reportedly signed on to play this new "strong and vibrant" "central character" who's set to appear in all four sequels.)
Cliff Curtis – Tonowari (The Fear the Walking Dead alum is set for a lead role in all four sequels, and according to Deadline will play "the leader of the Metkayina, the reef people clan.")
We don’t know much, but we have gotten hints …
- From Cameron: "The storyline in the sequels really follows Jake and Neytiri and their children. It's more of a family saga about the struggle with the humans."
- From producer Jon Landau: "At the heart of any movie are the characters. One of the strengths of great scripts are always the universal and relatable themes … There's no more relatable theme than family. At the center of each of our four movies will be the Sully family. Each sequel will play as a stand-alone movie. Each movie's story will come to its own conclusion … However, when looked at as a whole, the journey across all four movies will create an even larger connected epic saga for audiences around the world."
- Cameron also mentions that the sequels will explore "whole new worlds, habitats and cultures."
- That includes a deep dive into the world’s oceans, literally. Cameron has commissioned a submarine capable of filming in 3D some 36,000 feet below the surface!
- From Landau: "We always knew that Pandora was a place as diverse as Earth."
- From Sigourney Weaver: "In my opinion, the three scripts I've read so far are many times more amazing than the first one in terms of their scope. He did a lot of the heavy lifting in the first movie, establishing the family and the relationships and the world, and now he really gets to play."
- Also notable, as opposed to working alone (or at least being credited alone), as he did on Avatar, Cameron has a team of screenwriters plugging away on the sequels, which includes Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Shane Salerno (Armageddon), and Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). "I think we met for seven months and we whiteboarded out every scene in every film together," said Cameron, "and I didn't assign each writer which film they were going to work on until the last day. I knew if I assigned them their scripts ahead of time, they'd tune out every time we were talking about the other movie."
- While IMAX appears to be shifting away from 3D, that's not in line with Cameron’s remarks while receiving an honorary membership to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers last year: "I'm going to push. Not only for better tools, workflow, high dynamic range and high frame rates — the things we are working toward. I'm still very bullish on 3D, but we need brighter projection, and ultimately I think it can happen — with no glasses. We'll get there."
- Cameron was rumored to be considering 60 frames per second, but has settled on 48: “My thinking at the time was that 60 [FPS] might be a better segue to the video market,” he says. “I'll be plugging into a system that's a little more mature, so it makes sense for me to do 48 frames at this point.”
- Oh yeah, that submarine we mentioned above, Cameron wants to take it to film the Challenger Deep, the deepest spot on earth.
(via Den of Geek)