James Cameron says Avatar 4 is a prequel to Avatar, does not want people comparing it to Star Wars

James Cameron was not kidding when he said he was just going to make Avatar movies for the rest of his life. In an interview with MTV, he discussed plans for a fourth Avatar movie, an idea he'd been throwing around for a while until he realized that he might have a few more years of being alive on the Earth to make more movies, and he might get bored. So, he might as well. Apparently, the plan is to make the fourth movie a prequel to the other three movies, which sounds like something we've seen before that went, well, not that great for the fans. But don't worry -- Battle Angel is still going to happen. Probably. Five years from now. Maybe.

We knew that Avatar 2 and 3 were happening, shooting back-to-back in preparation for a possible 2015 release date. Sigourney Weaver -- who is going to come back for both sequels despite her character's death -- even said that all three movies would shoot consecutively. But the fourth one was only a "maybe," and it had been referred to as a sequel. But now, Cameron is making it sound like a pretty sure thing, saying it'll take place before the events of the first movie.

I haven’t really put pen to paper on it, but basically it goes back to the early expeditions of Pandora, and kind of what went wrong with the humans and the Na’vi and what that was like to be an explorer and living in that world.

He pointed out that in the 2009 movie, we knew that there had been Earthling activity on Pandora; Weaver's character, Dr. Grace Augustine, had been getting in good with the Na'vi for a while before we were all officially introduced to her. (And this is a good way to get Weaver in the fourth movie, since it would make logical sense. It's all good. We'll just ask her to continue to stop aging.) But Cameron would not like that fourth movie to be thought of the same way as another blockbuster prequel, he's begging you please:

[The events of the sequels] will complete an arc and if that leads into more, we’ll start, not imitating ‘Star Wars,’ but it’s a logical thing to do because we’ll have completed the thematic arc by the end of three. The only thing left to do is go back to see what it was like on those first expeditions and create some new characters that then become legacy characters in later films. It’s a plan.

So, if James Cameron feels the need to go back and tweak things in the original Avatar movie because he discovered more stuff along the way (like improved filmmaking technology, for instance), maybe he's giving everyone permission to slap him in the face, tell him "Get a hold of yourself, man!" and just make more prequels? But also, he might end up making no less than 24 Avatar movies.

Many things are going to happen before these movies hit theaters, including the planned Avatar theme park in Disney World's Animal Kingdom and Cameron's other ongoing project, Battle Angel. The former is scheduled to open in 2016 (after at least the first Avatar sequel hits theaters), the latter will finally get Cameron's attention after the first two sequels are shot. That is, unless Cameron somehow creates Pandora in a lab, shoots it into outer space, then flies there himself to shoot another "documentary."

‘Avatar 4’ Will Be a Prequel, ‘Battle Angel’ “Hopefully” Shooting in Four or Five Years [/Film]


  1. Am I the only one who has absolutely no interest in Avatar sequels? I don’t even have an interest in seeing the original movie ever again. And is there really enough interest out there to warrant a theme park? Are kids playing Avatar on playgrounds? I don’t get it…

    1. Aw, c’mon!  Maybe the sequels/prequels will actually have decent writers.  I watched about half of Avatar, and while it was visually impressive, the writing made me want to simultaneously laugh and hurl.  Have yet to watch the second half.  The visuals weren’t impressive enough to make me want to suffer through the rest of it.  YMMV, of course.

    2. Yeah I liked Avatar better when it was Dances with Wolves or The Last Samurai or any other of the numerous noble savage films.

    3. It made lots of money. LOTS of money. Until it doesn’t, expect sequels.

      Examples: The Jaws movies, the Halloween series, Michael Bay’s Transformers.

        1.  I believe he’s referencing a movement where people ignore certain cultural artifacts and act as if they simply don’t exist

    4. I’ve never seen the original.  I OWN the original.  My dad bought the DVD for me.  The last time my niece and nephew visited, they watched it, and I read a book. 

      I don’t know.  It’s just so … Avatar.

  2. I’ll take more Avatar films if that’s all he wants to do but I would sell most of my organs to get him back in the Terminator or Alien universes.

      1. I agree. The 1st 2 films were excellent though and I’d have no problem thinking that if James Cameron had stayed on for a 3rd.

    1. Why for the love of god? He already showed us what he’s capable of with Aliens director’s cut. We’d be crying for Lucas if Cameron ever went to work over Aliens…
      Let him stick to his smurfs in alien paradise. Thankfully i have no interest in that whatsoever so I couldn’t care less what he does with it. Worst case of a quality director sinking into god-complex midlife crisis I’ve ever seen, Lucas included.

    2. Seriously Ridley should just hand over the Prometheus sequel to Cameron.

      It’s be just like Alien vs. Aliens.

      This time I’d get to see a lot more proto aliens and people dying.
      (and by god there better be a Hudson like character.)

    1. I can help!

      “Man, that Avatar series is such bullshit if you compare it to the original 3 Star Wars movies and remains bullshit even compared to the 3 Star Wars prequels. I wonder if that guy read the writing or if he paid someone to do that?”

    2. I get it… he’s not seriously planning the prequel, but he wants us to believe that the next two movies will be this generation’s “Empire” and “Jedi.” Clever move, Cameron.

  3. Avatar was such viShit (visually impressive Shit) that I blocked all further instances of the word unless usage was Ultima/etc related. 

    So I’m shocked to learn that there has been a second and third helping of viShit, and that he’s sidling up to the vi toilet yet again!

    And I concur where Jeb asks, what the fuck is the deep sea in the deep freeze or what, Camaroon?

    My queries or expostulations where present are completely solipsistic and I will now re-activate my Avatar filter function.

  4. Avatar 1,2,3…N are just excuses to use all the awesome technology he develops. Cameron’s real love is science and technology, not cinema. He should stop making these gorgeous and terrible movies and send a robot to Mars already.

  5. I’d be very interesting to see the marketing data that said people wanted to see a sequel to Avatar. Avatar’s success was a common topic after it’s release, and I don’t ever recall anyone saying something to the effect of “I hope they make a sequel”.

    1. Agreed.  The movie was way too long.

      -Sending a flying military base to bombard a giant tree at point blank range….not just launching a couple of small nukes from your nice secure base and ending the movie right there.

  6. I don’t care about Avatar. Never had a desire to see it.

    All I want is for him to not mess up Battle Angel. Gally has better be precisely as she is in the comic. She’s one of my favourite characters ever and the first 5 volumes of the series are majestic (it’s just a damn shame Yukito Kishiro rushed the ending). 

      1. I used to be a huge fan of Gunm, and while I’m sure Cameron’s got the chops to pull it off, I’m pretty much in ‘dreading it’ mode until I see something really solid. Using the real names would be a good start.

        1. That’s something I hated too, they completely changed her name just so it would “fit” with a Western audience, though I think the name was actually supposed to be “Gary” and not “Gally” and they screwed up the romanization of it, which could cause problems elsewhere.  It is specifically mentioned that she’s named after a male cat.

    1. You know Gunnm Last Order is like an alternate ending to it with a continuation right?  So far Last Order is going for longer than the original series.  That said, it is a shame the ending for the first one was rushed and doesn’t meld well with the beginning of the continuation.

      Sadly though, I’m actually hoping he focuses more on Avatar so there’s a lower chance of us getting to see the inevitable disaster that will be a Gunnm/Battle Angel movie.  But then he could prove me wrong.

      1. Yeah, I was happy when I first heard about Last Order. But upon reading the first couple volumes, I found it looked and felt so different that the contrast was a bit jarring (I found the character design was so altered it looked almost like the work of a different artist). Instead, it felt more like a spinoff to me.

        I’m probably going to pick it up again at some point and appreciate it on its own merit- without trying too hard to mesh the old and new-  since Kishiro is an awesome artist and I’m sure I’ve been missing out on some interesting stuff..

  7. There once was a time I was excited to see a Battle Angel movie directed by the guy who made Aliens and Terminator 1/2. Then the millenium came and went and Battle Angel Alita faded from memory until only the barest thread of it still exists in my mind. 

    I’m not entirely certain there are that many many people still interested in seeing this movie now, let alone a few years from now. It’d be like Japan making an adaption of Dark Skies , sure it could be good, but for a great many people the original has already faded into obscurity.

  8. Apparently, the plan is to make the fourth movie a prequel to the other three movies, which sounds like something we’ve seen before that went, well, not that great for the fans.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about.  X-Men: First Class was great.

  9. Cameron is richer than God, and has plenty of money to go out and pay for an ace script from someone able to come up with the goods (I’m thinking someone in the realm of print science fiction, but let’s face it:  there are plenty of people just in *Hollywood* who could have written a good or even great script for Avatar).  If Cameron finds it within himself the ability to ask for help, I can imagine going to see a sequel or a prequel or whatevs.

    But if not, not a chance.  Roger Dean eye candy or no, watching a movie with a script like that is like getting spit on repeatedly.

    1. Cameron is richer than God, and has plenty of money to go out and pay for an ace script from someone able to come up with the goods…

      Maybe so, but George Lucas is richer than Platinum Edition God.

    2. But the problem with a lot of the “greats” now is the fact they are looking to tell some epic story.  That’s not what got most of them to the status where they are now, and frankly they kind of suck at it.

      I want the James Cameron from Aliens…lots of aliens, space marines, guns, more guns, and some great over acting.  That’s what I want from Cameron, an updated and better CGI version of Aliens.  <  Now I'd pay to see that in the theater.

  10. Avatar was written to have broad strokes, mass appeal and as such, there is nothing wrong with its writing; I missed whatever Chekhovian nuances elevate the much beloved and equally derivative and broad Star Wars above it.  It was well-structured, old-fashioned matinee story-telling with some interesting twists: Cameron managed to incorporate a distinctly countercultural, pagan-pantheistic rejection of Military-Industrialized Western hegemony, and the idea of the avatar itself served as an elegant metaphor for the immersive power of its own digital technologies.  It is one of the best mass appeal blockbusters of the modern era, and I’m sure Cameron could give a rat’s ass for the innumerable dweebs who think they’re smarter than it.

    1. It, like Titanic before it, was an eyeful on a big screen.  Sheer spectacle.  Doesn’t really work for repeated viewings (or viewings on smaller displays) due to a clunktastic and endlessly derivative script.  Like Rastronomicals above mentions, it’s a world that would be worth revisiting with a talented screenwriter onboard.  Otherwise, it’ll be another empty spectacle, only derivative of Avatar this time, for the love of Mike.

      1.  WTF? You’re saying he must be Cameron’s personal stooge just because he disagrees with you? Solid reasoning there.

  11. I was so disappointed when I heard that the sequels to Avatar would be all about Pandora.

    Because it’s called Avatar, not Pandora, and the idea of the Avatars is a far more beautiful concept than the Na’vi Dances With Wolves story that’s getting the sequels.  You could hang all SORTS of stories, by focusing on using the Avatar interface on OTHER alien worlds… imagine a taut spy thriller as a man’s forced to go undercover on an alien world (maybe jumping through several different bodies) to steal some kind of technology or destabilize their government or even diplomacy, for example, maybe they’re a Star Trek type “Federation” of generally peaceful and cooperative alien races and we risk screwing them over, or maybe they’re a hi-tech but byzantine society like Iain Banks The Player of Games (we know Cameron has no qualms about stealing ideas!) with a serious dark side, or maybe there are multiple factions in conflict on the planet and Earth wants one to prosper, despite that it’s not the best one.   All of those ideas, and many more, might interest me, and probably far more than “Let’s go back to Pandora.”

    You made a billion dollar movie.   You’ve earned some cache and name recognition and people are going to follow you to your next movie no matter what.  Instead of using it on “The exact same movie, part 2!”, use it to get a little experimental! 

  12. People are inevitably going to compare Avatar to Star Wars, because Avatar IS Star Wars: science and magic blended together, served up with special effects that revolutionize the industry and sell a boatload of tickets, all tied together by really stupid writing.

  13. Jamie, now that Frank Miller’s graphic novel is in the can, is there any truth to the persistent rumors that Guillermo del Toro has signed on to direct the much-anticipated Avatar reboot?

  14. Sam Worthington created such a nuanced and complex character — are 3 prequels really enough to explore where he had come to by the first Avatar movie?

  15. He should read “Old Man’s War” and do that instead. Its basically the same technological premis, but with a story a bit more complex than Disney’s Pocahontas .

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