When Avatar 2 hits theaters on December 18, 2020, it will have been over a decade since the original movie was released. James Cameron has been working ever since on refining the story of Avatar 2 and its three other sequels (yes, there will be four Avatar sequels in total), but just because Cameron’s been working on the stories for 10 years doesn’t mean we’re in for some radically different tale. Technology-wise I’m sure Cameron will be pushing new boundaries we haven’t even thought of, but in a new interview he reveals that a key story thread from Avatar will be present in all four Avatar sequels.
Speaking with Empire, Cameron said that the Avatar sequels mainly feature the same characters from the original films, noting that Stephen Lang’s dastardly Quaritch will be the villain in all of the movies:
“The interesting conceit of the Avatar sequels is it’s pretty much the same characters. There are new characters and a lot of new settings and creatures, so I’m taking characters you know and putting them in unfamiliar places and moving them on this greater journey. But it’s not a whole bunch of new characters every time. There’s not a new villain every time, which is interesting. Same guy. Same motherfucker through all four movies. He is so good and he just gets better. I know Stephen Lang is gonna knock this out of the park.”
That’s certainly an interesting way to approach this saga, and I suppose might be a bit of a breath of fresh air after other franchises set up mini-bosses for their characters to go through before they get to the Big Bad.
Cameron also revealed that we have Peter Jackson to blame for Cameron’s idea of crafting one overarching story over four movies:
“I said ‘It’s your fault I’m doing this, motherfucker!’” He recalls. “It’s one big story. But I would say a little bit different from The Lord Of The Rings, which you knew was a trilogy and that allowed you to accept a sort of truncated ending for movies one and two and then a fulfillment. This is a greater narrative broken up into four complete stories.”
Coming from literally any other filmmaker I would say this is crazy, that nobody is going to care about Avatar in 2020 let alone 2025, but as we’ve learned time and time again, you do not bet against James Cameron. So as silly as four Avatar sequels sounds, there’s a part of me that knows we’re gonna have a lot of folks eating crow in three years.