James Cameron’s underwater epic The Abyss is, to this day, one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s intense, it’s funny, it’s scary, and the tale of mysterious underwater beings lurking at the bottom of an abyssal ocean trench injected awesome straight into my young nerd brain. But the production of the film was notoriously grueling for both cast and crew, with Cameron himself later admitting, “I knew this was going to be a hard shoot, but even I had no idea just how hard. I don’t ever want to go through this again.” Nearly two and a half decades after the film was released, some fascinating relics of the film’s production have turned up online: shots of the underwater sets, abandoned inside an uncompleted nuclear power plant in South Carolina.
When a movie is successful, the first thing that pops into Hollywood’s collective mind is, “Let’s crank out a sequel!” If you’re like us, you always have to wonder what a filmmakers, an artist with a very specific vision for their work, feels about these follow ups. Some films are ready made for multiple chapters—just look at every superhero movie Marvel makes—though so many are forced and subpar. James Cameron delivered Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which are easily the highlights of that particular franchise. As it turns out, he thinks they’re better than the others, too.
On principle, Cameron has no beef with sequels. During his Ask Me Anything session on Reddit this weekend he noted that the scripts are almost done for Avatar 2, 3, and 4, all of which he plans to direct. During the same conversation, he touches on everything from Titanic to Prometheus, but he also makes his feelings known on Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and the most recent endeavor, Terminator Salvation.
Though the cinematic universe originated with Ridley Scott in 1979, director James Cameron left an indelible mark on the Alien franchise with his 1986 sequel Aliens. Depending on your point of view, some even argue that it is the rare follow-up that eclipses the original. While that’s a debate for another time and place, you can bet, because of his involvement, the visionary director has some definite feelings when it comes to the most recent foray into that world, Scott’s Prometheus. As it turns out, he has the same issues with the movie as many of your average viewers.
Over the weekend, Cameron participated in an ask me anything (AMA) session on Reddit—which is where we gleaned that story about the scripts for Avatar 2, 3, and 4. One intrepid fan ventured to ask about his thoughts on Prometheus, and what it contributes to the overall.
With American Hustle and Dallas Buyers Club currently sitting high on moivegoers’ minds during this awards season, it’s not hard to think about what the award-nominated films will be 30 or 40 years from now. I don’t think it’s out of the question to assume some indie filmmaker will pen a script about the past three years of James Cameron’s legal dealings involving Avatar-related lawsuits. It’ll be turned into a super-dramatic movie and it’ll win something, probably in the same category as Avatar 7.
Last weekend, Cameron won yet another case, this time against Bryant Moore, who claimed Cameron had mooched some ideas from his own screenplays titled Aquatica and The Pollination, and that it was worth a $1 billion suit. Moore was the contender that lasted the longest when the Oscar-winning directed was first attacked with the three initial cases. Maryland U.S. District Judge Roger Titus ruled that Moore’s screenplays were different enough from Cameron’s screenplay and film that both were independent of the other. It’s like these guys think that someone like James Cameron didn’t spend all of his life building concepts and ideas to use at later dates, thus setting a precedent for a work’s originality.
Earlier today, Miami native Ron Bavatar filed a lawsuit against James Cameron for Avatar sounding too much like his last name. Just kidding! We’ve actually got some good news for Avatar this time, as actors Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington have both finalized their deals to star in Cameron’s three sequels that will be coming out over the next few years. This is no surprise, as both of them were expected to return whenever the sequel was first talked about, but I guess not all of the negotiations were complete until now. I’m guessing any delays were not due to Worthington demanding he deserved more money.
The Avatar sequels will all film back-to-back-to-back at some point soon, which severely limits the actors’ careers outside of Pandora. Not that they’ll be complaining, I’m sure. The different screenplays are being handled by a small army, as Cameron brought in Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Shane Salerno (Savages), and Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) to help him pen the scripts.
The long awaited sequels to the highest-grossing film of all time, James Cameron’s Avatar, are set to start production in 2014. While the plot details for Avatar 2, 3, and 4 are a bit murky, the sequel films will be shot in their entirety in New Zealand. Cameron came to an agreement with the New Zealand government to lock up the Avatar sequels in the Kiwi country.
According to Deadline, New Zealand lured James Cameron to shoot the Avatar sequels in their country with a 25% tax rebate and incentives. The first Avatar film was also shot in New Zealand, which created NZ$307M in the country’s local economy. With the Avatar sequels, Cameron is expected to created NZ$500M (US$413.1M) on local production activity such as visual effects and most of the film’s live-action shooting. About 90% of the films’ production crew will also come from New Zealand, and Cameron also came to an agreement to host at least one red carpet world premiere in the island nation. The move will create a deeper relationship between New Zealand, Lightstorm Entertainment, and Twentieth Century Fox.