20th Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment announced yesterday that James Cameron will shoot all three of his upcoming Avatar sequels in New Zealand, and now in an interview with The Associated Press, Cameron elaborated on some details regarding the films.
“It’s going to be a lot of new imagery and a lot of new environments and creatures across Pandora. We’re blowing it out all over the place. At first I thought I was going to take it onto other worlds as well, in the same solar system, but it turned out not to be necessary. I mean the Pandora that we have imagined will be a fantasy land that is going to occupy people for decades to come, the way I see it.”
Cameron also commented on the often reported fact that second film will deal with the underwater life on Pandora, saying:
“There’s a fair bit of underwater stuff. It’s been inaccurately said that the second film takes place underwater. That’s not true. There are underwater scenes and surface-water scenes having to do with indigenous ocean cultures that are distributed across the three films.”
While the first film in the series focused mostly on Sam Worthington’s Jake Sully, Cameron says the sequels will expand their focus to Jake’s “family” on Pandora.
“It was very Jake-centric. His story seen through his eyes. We spread it around quite a bit more as we go forward. It’s really the story of his family, the family that he creates on Pandora. His extended family. So think of it as a family saga like ‘The Godfather.’”
The release of the first sequel will be in December 2016, with the second to follow in December 2017, and the third a year later. Production is expected to begin next year with Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Stephen Lang all returning in their respective roles.
Avatar 2, 3, and 4 will be produced by Cameron and Jon Landau through their Lightstorm Entertainment banner. Writers Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds), Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planets of the Apes) and Shane Salerno (Savages) are currently penning the individual sequels.