Avatar made $2.7 billion worldwide back in 2009, so the question of sequels was not if but when. Director James Cameron has certainly been taking his time, working with different sets of writers to hash out three scripts that will shoot back-to-back-to-back. They were supposed to begin filming early this year, but that has been delayed. One of the only things we know about the new movies is that much of the cast, including Sigourney Weaver, will be back. Considering that Weaver’s character, Dr. Grace Augustine, dies near the end of Avatar, we’ve had some questions about how this is going to happen, and she has now come forward and revealed that she is playing a very different part in the new installments.
Weaver is currently stumping for Neill Blomkamp’s robot drama Chappie, as well as fielding questions about his much discussed Alien movie. But that’s not all she has to talk about, and during an appearance in the U.K. on The Jonathan Ross Show, she revealed a small bit of how she fits into Avatar 2.
When asked whether or not she will reprise her Dr. Augustine role, Weaver said, “”No. I don’t play the same character.” That’s all she had to say on the matter as there were no follow up questions, and while it doesn’t really shed any light on Avatar 2, it answers at least one question that’s been bothering us. It does, however, lead us to even more questions, like if this new character is connected to the old one. Some sort of relative seems too easy, but also kind of unavoidable. Even if they’re not explicitly linked, viewers will make that connection on their own.
However it shakes out, a new character is a much more satisfying answer than the explanation Cameron offered in 2010, which was, “Nobody dies in a science fiction movie.” At one point he also said the new movies will make you “shit yourself with your mouth wide open,” so there’s that.
Back in January, the timeline for Avatar 2, 3, and 4 was pushed back a year so that Cameron could get all of his ducks in a row. They are, after all, trying to stage three movies—and not just movies, three massive movies—all at the same time, and Cameron has never been one to rush. At this stage in his career, he can do whatever the hell he wants, and it certainly appears that he’s taking his time to make sure he gets everything right.
Avatar 2 will now open in December 2017, while Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 will follow in December 2018 and 2019 respectively.