The saga of the Na’vi could be coming to an end much sooner than we thought. Director James Cameron has previously expressed doubt that his upcoming Avatar sequels will reach the box office heights of the original film. But now, he claims that if the new films aren’t successful enough, it could impact his ability to make more sequels beyond Avatar 3.
Cameron dropped this bombshell during a recent interview with Total Film (via GamesRadar+). Suffice to say, he definitely wants all four sequels to hit the big screen over the next six years. Regardless, it all depends on audience turnout.
“The market could be telling us we’re done in three months, or we might be semi-done,” said Cameron. “Meaning: ‘OK, let’s complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly,’ if it’s just not profitable.”
“We’re in a different world now than we were when I wrote this stuff, even,” continued Cameron. “It’s the one-two punch – the pandemic and streaming. Or, conversely, maybe we’ll remind people what going to the theatre is all about. This film definitely does that. The question is: how many people give a s**t now?”
20th Century Studios has already set 2026 and 2028 release dates for Avatar 4 and 5, respectively. So Cameron’s comments are surprising, especially since he announced the start of production on Avatar 4 back in September. As far as we know, the sequel isn’t even halfway through filming, with producer Jon Landau confirming last month that most of the first act had been shot. But with a reported budget of $250 million, it’s hard to imagine the Disney-backed studio just tossing that footage away.
In any case, Cameron probably doesn’t need to worry. The original Avatar made an additional $15 million when it returned to theaters earlier this year, suggesting an ongoing interest in Jake and Neytiri’s adventures. Plus, the latest trailer for The Way of Water continues to dazzle new and old fans alike with its glimpses at all-new corners of Pandora’s landscape.
Avatar: The Way of Water hits theaters on December 16. It will be followed by Avatar 3 on December 20, 2024.
How do you feel about the Avatar franchise potentially ending after three movies? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: James Cameron’s Avatar: Tsu’tey’s Path
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