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Avatar 2 Producer Talks Plot Details and the Challenge of Writing Four Sequels

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When it comes to film franchises, there are some filmmakers who have more ambitious plans than others. While some believe the gamble of New Line Cinema on Peter Jackson directing all three Lord of the Rings movies back to back based on his previous work and without any idea whether audiences would get on board any of it is still one of the biggest gambles in Hollywood history, James Cameron is looking to defy all logic with his four planned Avatar sequels being written before he even completes the first of them.

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We have been promised a sequel to Cameron’s massively successful Avatar since that film was released in 2009, with the Titanic and Terminator mastermind setting out some ludicrously ambitious plans of where he wanted to take the franchise. However, after 12 years we are only now on track to see the first of his sequels and the real question is with so much time having passed, is there the same appetite for Avatar as when it brought its then-groundbreaking visuals to theaters and became the biggest movie of all time?

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Producer Jon Landau spoke to Total Film magazine about the upcoming sequels and explained the main reason why it has taken over a decade to bring the first one to screens. As he revealed, the fact that all four sequel scripts have been written, at least in part, was a major delaying point for getting any new Avatar content out.

“The scripts are the blueprint from which we work. So a large portion of our time was writing… with the challenge that each of those four scripts had to individually resolve itself in a story that concludes with a big emotional resolution – but when you look at them as a whole, the connected story arc of all four movies creates an even larger epic saga.”

When it comes to Avatar 2, the film will pick up with exactly the same time difference having passed as in the real world. Cameron will be once again directing and the story will see the Sully family as they are now, with Sam Worthington’s Jake and Zoe Saldana’s Neytiri having become parents since we last saw them.

Landau went on to explain, “I think the story of Avatar 2, and the strength of the story, is what Jim [Cameron] always does in any of his movies: he writes in universal themes that are bigger than any one genre. And if you think about this, there’s really no more universal theme than family. At the center of each of our sequels is the Sully family. What are the dynamics that parents go through to protect their family?”


The plot of the film sees the RDA mining operation return to Pandora, disrupting the Sullys’ content lives, with Jake moving his family to the reef where he believes they will be safe. Landau said, “And when you get to the reef, there’s a clan we call the Metkayina. The Sullys are no longer in the environment that they know, the rainforest. They become the fish out of water. They become the fish out of water both culturally and just environmentally.”

Avatar 2 has a release date of December 16th, 2022, when we will discover if the very long wait has been worth it for a return to Pandora.


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