They say in life you should always bite off just a bit more than you think you can chew. While it seems James Cameron believes in that philosophy, he’s proven time and again that he can chew a lot more than anyone gives him credit for. But news today that Cameron has plans for a fifth Avatar movie — before even finishing the long-awaited sequel to the 2009 original — must have the film world wondering, once again, if this is the moment Cameron finally chokes.
Cameron announced plans for the fifth movie in his daring franchise featuring those giant blue aliens at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. The film will be slated for release on Christmas of 2023. You know, if we’re all still alive by then.
On Christmas 2018, nine years after his groundbreaking first film in the series, Cameron is expected to reveal the first sequel in his series, Avatar 2. That’s expected to be followed by a new sequel each Christmas in two year intervals — including Avatar 3 in 2020 and Avatar 4 in 2022 — with the fifth landing in 2023, just a year after the first trilogy wraps. Each one of the films will stand alone, promised Cameron, but together will form “a complete saga.”
The surprise fifth film, which Cameron has already begun scripting, came about because the filmmaker and his writers found there was just “too much story” for the original trilogy of sequels to layout, according to the report.
As he took the stage, Cameron also reportedly used his planned, grandiose 3D franchise as a platform to help extol the virtues of big cinema. Cameron is one of a few major names (including Christopher Nolan) who have come out against Internet entrepreneur Sean Parker’s plans to create an at-home movie service that would allow subscribers to download new films as they come out in theaters for a $50 premium after they purchase a special $150-200 set-top box. J.J. Abrams, Steven Spielberg, and Martin Scorsese (among others) are not only on board, they’re also investors.
Regardless of Parker’s disruptive new plans, Cameron is committed to his grand strategy for big-theater blockbusters deep into the next decade, all of which will continue the Avatar story. Hopefully, by the time Avatar 5 hits screens, movie theaters will still be a thing.