Avatar 6 And 7 Already In The Works

By Sean Thiessen | Published

Avatar 2

The world is mere weeks away from the long-awaited return to Pandora in Avatar: The Way of Water. The film comes over a decade after its predecessor, and its impressive production budget puts the film in a precarious position; it must become one of the top-five-grossing films of all time just to break even. Even with the planned third, fourth, and fifth installments riding on The Way of Water’s success, director James Cameron revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that he already has ideas for the sixth and seventh Avatar films.

There is a lot of movies to be made between now and Avatar 6 and 7. Cameron says he has already shot Avatar 3 and even parts of the fourth. Whether those films make it to the silver screen is another matter.

James Cameron will be the first to admit that The Way of Water could feasibly be the end of the Avatar franchise. The director is a firm believer in the marketplace and conceded that if his super expensive sequel doesn’t perform at the box office, he will take the hint and discontinue his Avatar endeavor. That would mean the filmmaker turning his back on a rich world and story he has spent well over a decade of his life working on.

It has been thirteen years since audiences were transported to Pandora. Avatar came at a different time in the history of moviegoing; the box office has still not made a full recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the era of streaming has reshaped film distribution in a way the first Avatar did not have to contend with.

Avatar was a technological breakthrough. The film boasted unprecedented visual effects and redefined 3D films for a new generation. Its impressive visuals drove many to the theater to witness film history. The Way of Water will also signal a technological breakthrough in filmmaking, one that contributed to the film’s delay.

Fox originally planned for an Avatar sequel to hit theaters in 2014, a projection much more in line with the typical franchise rhythm. Cameron wanted to take time away from Avatar, and when he returned to seriously consider the sequels, he ended up writing all four of them with screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver over the course of four years. The Way of Water, as one may expect, has underwater sequences that Cameron believed technology was not yet capable of capturing in a believable way.

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For James Cameron, a technological limitation is an invitation to innovate. He spearheaded the development of new technology that achieves the realism Cameron needed to make his Avatar sequel work, and hundreds of millions of dollars later, The Way of Water is almost here.

Early projections indicate that Cameron’s efforts may not pay off. The lofty position the Avatar sequel must achieve coupled with its delayed release may doom the franchise. The original Avatar, on the other hand, spun up to its success. The film became a hit largely due to word of mouth; if James Cameron can thoroughly blow audience’s minds and strike a chord in their hearts with his sequel, maybe the hype of Avatar can be replicated.

The marketplace is finicky, and no one, not even James Cameron, can predict box office success. One thing about Avatar: The Way of Water is certain: the film will be built on a foundation of passion and innovation. Whether that is enough to warrant more sequels will be determined sooner than later.