We’re sure that no one is going to believe this until it actually starts happening. But James Cameron may finally start making some real progress on his Avatar sequels, telling The Daily Beast he expects to start some filming in August.
That’s big news not just for fans, but especially for Cameron, who says he now feels like he’s stepping out into sunlight for the first time.
“I’m now starting the process of active prep. I’ll be working with the actors in the capture volume in August, so I’m booked in production every day between now and then. Our volume is up and running, and everything is designed, and so we’re going full-guns right now.
“I feel like I’ve been let out of jail, because I’ve been in the writing cave for the last two years. I’m actually enjoying life. I don’t enjoy writing. I wouldn’t wish writing on a dog.”
Cameron decided to craft the next four Avatar films at the same time, and just recently finished the script for Avatar 5. But Hollywood knew he would have to start production on Avatar 2 soon, since it now has a December 2018 start date. Then again, Cameron has not been afraid to delay the film, keeping it on his own schedule.
When Cameron released Titanic in 1996, he had the rare honor of not only directing the highest-grossing movie at the time, but also watching it win an Oscar. Many thought the same would happen for Avatar during the 2010 awards, especially since it revolutionized (and revitalized) 3-D films, using technology that had never been part of Hollywood in the past.
Yet, the Oscars veered away from Cameron and awarded best picture to The Hurt Locker instead. And Cameron told reporter Marlow Stern that he’s still a little miffed by it.
“There’s definitely a bias. The Academy still has a majority of its members that are actors. Look, I love actors, but that’s how they think – they’re generally skeptical of technology. So when they see a film that’s too dependent on visual effects, they say, ‘Oh, that’s not an acting movie.'”
Titanic got away with it, Cameron said, because it was a a visual effects movie “in sheep’s clothing.”
“Yes, it had visual effects, but it was about the people and about the story. The visual effects were eclipsed by that.
“But if you do a movie like Avatar, the effects are right out front. And even though I felt the acting was just as good, and the story we were telling was just as good, they’re not going to reward it the same way. That’s just a fact of life.”
The Avatar franchise is designed to reflect a lot of Cameron’s environmental beliefs, something some believe might become a much stronger message after last year’s presidential election. Cameron, however, says he’s not doing anything different since Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton to become the 45th American president.
“I’m keeping my head down, doing the stuff I thought I would be doing if Hillary was elected. I’m making my Avatar films, I’m doing my climate work, I’m doing my sustainable agriculture work.
“You can only do what you can do.”
Hopefully, he’ll really get serious about Avatar 2. And if he does, we could be watching it around Christmastime 2018.
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