The LA Times have been talking to James Cameron (AVATAR, ALIENS) on the eve of the AVATAR DVD release, due to hit shelves tomorrow (which also happens to be international Earth Day). During the interview Cameron lets some vital AVATAR sequel plot details slip and confirms the theatrical re-release of AVATAR is arriving this summer.
Cameron on his plans for an AVATAR trilogy,
“We created a broad canvas for the environment of [the] film. That’s not just on Pandora, but throughout the Alpha Centauri AB system. And we expand out across that system and incorporate more into the story – not necessarily in the second film, but more toward a third film. Part of my focus in the second film is in creating a different environment – a different setting within Pandora. And I’m going to be focusing on the ocean, which will be equally rich and diverse and crazy and imaginative, but it just won’t be a rainforest”.
This is an interesting approach for a sequel to take and could even better the visual beauty on display in the original film. It should also be a good fit for Cameron as the director has been obsessed with the ocean throughout his career, having extensively dealt with the aquatic in films such as THE ABYSS, TITANIC and ALIENS OF THE DEEP. He also spoke about his plans to shorten production time for the sequels,
“The challenge on the next Avatar is to do what we did before at half the price and in half the time. Again, that’s an impossible goal, we won’t accomplish that, but if we can reduce by 25% in both categories, we’ll have really accomplished something.”
Cameron is well known as a man who likes a challenge and reducing his budget and production time by half, or even a quarter, would be very hard task for films of this scale. If he manages to pull it off it’d be very impressed. On the planned re-release of AVATAR,
“We’re working on finishing an additional six minutes of the film – which includes a lot of Weta work – for a theatrical re-release in August. We were sold out of our Imax performances right up to the moment until they were contractually obligated to switch to Alice In Wonderland, so we know we left money on the table there.”
This news, on the other hand, is far less encouraging. Does AVATAR really need a re-release? And all for the sake of just six extra minutes of running time? This seems like a pointless exercise in making yet more money from the film to me, and it suggests Cameron is getting rather greedy in his old age.
Both AVATAR sequels are a long way off yet but stay tuned into Cinefantastique Online for all updates on the world of Pandora.