Avatar 2 has taken a very interesting turn. In some cases, like The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, director James Cameron has shared the screenwriting credit, but much of the time he writes his own films. While he isn’t the most dynamic when it comes to character and dialogue, he’s a master of structure and pace. He drives his narratives forward with precision and expertise, which is why he rarely feels the need to collaborate with a partner or a co-writer. Recently, however, Cameron recruited screenwriter Josh Friedman to help him with the screenplay for Avatar 2.
While it’s unclear whether Friedman would work on Avatar 3 as well, the creative force and creator behind Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has now joined forces with the creator of The Terminator film franchise. According to the Wrap, Friedman will work with Cameron in order to deliver the highly anticipated sequel to theaters by 2015. Neither Twentieth Century Fox, nor Cameron, have commented on the move, but it’s good to see someone like Friedman attached to the Avatar film series.
Most of us are familiar with Friedman because of the underrated The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but he also produced the short-lived TV series The Finder for Fox, as well as the unaired Locke & Key TV pilot, which he co-wrote with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. He also handled the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, and earned a story credit for the 1996’s Chain Reaction, starring Keanu Reeves, Morgan Freeman, and Rachel Weisz.
Friedman has already proven that he can expand the reach of one universe, so he seems very logical choice to help do the same for Cameron’s latest expansive world. After all, Chronicles is the best version of the Terminator mythology since Judgment Day in 1991. Adding another screenwriter to Avatar 2 might tighten up its story and character, and punch up the dialogue, which has always been the biggest criticism of Cameron’s work. His characters are often too stock and broad for some tastes (just look at Titanic).
This could also free Cameron to focus more on what he does best, develop and use groundbreaking filmmaking technology to deliver a unique movie-going experience. The man is a master of spectacle and pushing film technology past its boundaries. There are rumors that he might shoot the Avatar sequels at 48 Frames Per Second, just like Peter Jackson did for The Hobbit trilogy.
Avatar 2 and 3 will film back-to-back at Jackson’s Weta Studios in New Zealand, and both Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana are set to reprise their roles from the original. According to Saldana, who played the Na’vi warrior princess Neytiri, production should begin in early 2014. It’s going to be a long shoot, but it will be completely worth it when the films hit theaters. Audiences around the world can’t wait to go back to Pandora.
Although Twentieth Century Fox has yet to announce an official release date, Avatar 2 is expected to hit theaters in IMAX and 3D around Christmas 2015.