He hasn’t made the second or third films in the series yet, but that’s not going to stop James Cameron from talking about the possibility of Avatar 4. In a recent interview at the Beijing International Film Festival, the Terminator, Aliens, and Titanic director hinted at the possibility of a fourth installment to follow the already announced Avatar 2 & 3.
Cameron also used this moment to discuss the fact that he’s no longer interested in producing films for other people. From now on he is “in the Avatar business. Period.” (Well, that and asteroid mining.) For all intents and purposes, Cameron has shut down the development division of his production company.
I’m making “Avatar 2,” “Avatar 3,” maybe “Avatar 4,” and I’m not going to produce other people’s movies for them. I’m not interested in taking scripts. And that all sounds I suppose a little bit restricted, but the point is I think within the “Avatar” landscape I can say everything I need to say that I think needs to be said, in terms of the state of the world and what I think we need to be doing about it. And doing it in an entertaining way.
So it appears that, at least for the foreseeable future, the only narrative output we’re going to see from Cameron will be set in the Avatar universe. He does, however, plan to continue working in the documentary format. For the last decade and a half, or so, that seems to be where his heart truly lies. Since 1997 years he’s made two theatrical movies—Titanic and Avatary—while he’s pumped out five deep sea diving centric documentaries in the past ten years.
Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 are still very much in the works. Cameron and company are currently developing software for the back-to-back productions, setting up stages in Los Angeles, working on establishing new visual effects pipelines in New Zealand, and working on the script. Next on up on schedule is the design stage.
You can check out the entire interview at the New York Times. It’s worth a quick read. Cameron talks about Chinese censorship, current filmmakers he likes, and the possibility of future co-productions with China.