James Cameron gave an an interview to the MTV Movie Blog, in which he discusses future plans for the mega-successful AVATAR franchise. No deals have been signed, and no definite plans have been set, but Cameron is developing ideas: in a nutshell, he wants to complete a novelization of AVATAR before making another film. In adapting his story to the print medium, Cameron’s plan is not to simply translate the screenplay into prose; he wants to flesh out the story with background and details about the characters and their world that will lay the foundation for the expected sequels.
“I never had a chance to get the novel done while we were making the movie, and I always intended to. I didn’t want to do a cheesy novelization, where some hack comes in and kind of makes s–t up. I wanted to do something that was a legitimate novel that was inside the characters’ heads and didn’t have the wrong culture stuff, the wrong language stuff, all that.”
Once the novel is out there, Cameron hopes that others will help him in further fleshing out the universe. There are simply key bits of the ongoing story, such as the happenings on Earth and Jake & Grace’s personal arcs, that he wants to make sure are developed in specific ways. “I don’t mind opening the universe, but I just don’t want that to happen until I’ve got more meat on the bones. … That all needs to be filled in before other writers can come in and run with it.”
After finishing the novel, Cameron plans to turn AVATAR into a trilogy, possibly filming two sequels simultaneously. The computer-generated nature of AVATAR’s world should make this process easier, because the motion-capture performances of the cast can be shot relatively quickly, with the backgrounds and scenery being added later.