James Cameron Says Avatar Sequels are About Family

Director James Cameron attended the New York premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s Toruk at Barclays Center last night and revealed more about the anticipated Avatar sequels. Toruk depicts the world of Pandora before the events of the first film, which opens in theaters in 2009.

Talking about the status of the Avatar sequels and Toruk, Cameron said (via Variety): “We’ve got most of the sequel stuff already designed, but I like this idea of weaving back and forth between the two worlds, the live world and the film world.”

“The storyline in the sequels really follows Jake and Neytiri and their children,” he added. “It’s more of a family saga about the struggle with the humans. But thematically, ‘Toruk’ manages to land very very closely to the feeling of where the sequel stories are going.”

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the first Avatar sequel is expected to hit theaters in December 2018 and would be followed by three more films in December 2020, December 2022, and December 2023.

As far as making the December 2018 date, Cameron said: “We haven’t moved that target yet, but we will if we need to. The important thing for me is not when the first one comes out but the cadence of the release pattern. I want them to be released as close together as possible. If it’s an annual appointment to show up at Christmas, I want to make sure that we’re able to fulfill on that promise.”

The original 2009 Avatar remains the top-grossing movie of all-time with $2.782 billion at the worldwide box office. It was recently dethroned by Star Wars: The Force Awakens for reigning domestic box office champion with a total of $936.6 million to Avatar‘s $760.5 million.

Confirmed to feature the return of cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver, the Avatar sequels will be produced by Cameron and Jon Landau through their Lightstorm Entertainment. The sequels are written by Cameron along with Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, Josh Friedman, and Shane Salerno.

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(Photo Credit: Getty Images)