James Cameron Hires More Writers for ‘Avatar’ Sequels, Plans to Shoot Three Sequels at the Same Time

By August 1, 2013
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James Cameron Press Conference

Whoa. Yesterday, we learned that director James Cameron had enlisted “Sarah Connor Chronicles” creator Josh Friedman to write Avatar 2, and since we’d been hearing a lot from Cameron about how he’d been busy writing the sequel himself over the past few months, I thought the announcement was a bit odd. Now, things have become a lot clearer thanks to a report at Deadline which reveals that Cameron has also brought on more writers to tackle screenplays for two more sequels, which he plans to shoot all at the same time next year.

Along with Friedman, Cameron has brought on Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Jurassic Park 4 writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, with Salinger writer Shane Salerno (who also worked with Cameron on a Fantastic Voyage remake that never took off) to round out the stable of scribes. The plan is for them to collaborate with Cameron separately and then co-write three separate movies with him. He’ll shoot all three movies simultaneously, which will mark the most daring filmmaking undertaking since Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy shot back-to-back-to-back in the late 90s/early 2000s. Avatar 2 will no longer hit theaters in 2015 as previously rumored, but is instead aiming for a December 2016 release, with the following movies arriving in December 2017 and December 2018.

Avatar

Deadline mentions that the three sequels could cost close to $1 billion combined, which seems absurd until the realization sinks in that these films are all but guaranteed to bring in multiple billions of dollars each at the box office. The first Avatar made just under $3 billion worldwide, and there’s no reason to assume that fans won’t be just as feverish for more adventures on Pandora, so this is obviously a major event for 20th Century Fox. Hopefully by bringing on these writers, Cameron will be able to avoid some of the pitfalls of the original’s screenplay and craft a story that is powerful enough to match his groundbreaking visual effects. If he isn’t already, I’m guessing James Cameron is likely going to become one of the richest people in the world. Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana are expected to return, and we’ll keep you posted with more Avatar news as it becomes available.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.