James Cameron Updates on ‘Avatar’ Sequels, Confirms ‘Battle Angel’ Will Follow

By July 5, 2013

James Cameron’s Avatar was a breathtaking technological achievement. The filmmaker took 12 years between Titanic and Avatar to invent the Fusion Camera System, allowing him to film in stereoscopic 3D and push the 3D movement forward in a significant way. But many (myself included) weren’t overly impressed with the storytelling on display in Cameron’s groundbreaking and record-breaking tale. Thankfully, at Mexico City’s TagDF tech forum recently, Cameron gave a little insight as to how the storytelling might be different in the upcoming sequels.

The Film Stage has some translations of the director’s comments, saying that he’ll concentrate more on the story and characters in the upcoming Avatar movies instead of spending so much time working on the technological side of things. Sounds good to me, since (as you’ve all heard a million times by now) the story of the first movie was essentially just a cut-and-paste version of Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas, and Ferngully. We already know that Avatar 2 will largely feature a look at the underwater landscape of Pandora, which makes sense considering Cameron’s famous involvement with the Deepsea Challenger and making his single-person dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Avatar 2 and 3 are reportedly being shot back-to-back; filming for the first sequel could start this year, with a possible 2015 release date (adding to that already-insane movie calendar). But though Cameron once told the New York Times, “I’m in the Avatar business. Period. That’s it,” it seems like he’s still looking beyond the world of Pandora for what will be coming up next. That, of course, will be his often-rumored adaptation of “Battle Angel Alita,” the 1990 manga that has long captured Cameron’s attention. The filmmaker confirmed that he’ll start developing that project around 2017, which will likely be while he’s in post-production on Avatar 3.

It seems like it’s been forever since the first Avatar movie came out, and with how much fanfare that film raised at the time, it’ll be interesting to see if audiences have the same hunger and passion for that world when six years pass between the first and second installments. Time will tell. In the meantime, Cameron’s buddy and Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron was also at the conference with him, and the two were recorded during an interview session in front of a large audience. There isn’t any Avatar info in this conversation, but it does detail the path Cameron took to become a director, so it’s interesting to watch if you’re looking to break into the biz or are just a Cameron fanboy or fangirl. Check it out:

Any time I get to end an article with this video of James Cameron from “South Park,” my day is made. It cracks me up every time. Enjoy, and good luck going the rest of the day without having this song stuck in your head.

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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.