‘Avatar’ Director Reveals Future Sequels Won’t Be Developed as Fans Planned

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Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) in 'Avatar: The Way of Water'

Credit: 20th Century Studios

Avatar Director James Cameron recently shared the latest updates on the popular franchise, including some news that may devastate some fans hoping for development to go as planned.

It’s been more than a decade since the original Avatar (2009) hit the big screen. The science-fiction film was directed, written, produced, and co-edited by James Cameron and starred Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver.

Avatar 2009
Credit: 20th Century Studios

It has since spawned its own theme park land– Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort-– and the two attractions inside the world, Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey, are two of the most popular rides in the Disney Park.

For years, fans have waited for major sequels to hit the big screen and Avatar 2, also known as Avatar: The Way of Water, is finally set to be released this December. James Cameron previously revealed that there were plans for the second Avatar to be released in 2014, but many factors– including the development of three more sequels– put the film on hold for several more years. Avatar 3 is set to be released in December 2024.

Avatar 2 The Way of Water
Credit: 20th Century Studios via YouTube

Now, James Cameron has shared updated information on the future of the sequels and it seems that there may be a major change that fans weren’t expecting.

“The Avatar films themselves are kind of all-consuming,” Cameron said in an interview with Empire Magazine. “I’ve got some other things I’m developing as well that are exciting. I think eventually over time – I don’t know if that’s after three or after four – I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over, so I can go do some other stuff that I’m also interested in. Or maybe not. I don’t know.”

Zoe Saldana as Neytiri (L) and Sam Worthington as Jake Sully (R) in 'Avatar'
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Previously, the publication notes, Cameron handed across Alita: Battle Angel – a project he long planned to adapt for the screen – to director Robert Rodriguez, while remaining on board as executive producer and co-writer.

While the development of those sequels may not go exactly as fans had hoped with Cameron in the director’s chair, there’s still no doubt that the plan at this point is to make Avatar 4 and Avatar 5, even if that means there will be a different director overseeing the project.

What do you think of James Cameron’s comments about the franchise’s sequels? 

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