‘Avatar’ to Get Three Sequels, Fox/Cameron Hire Screenwriters

avatar sequels

First sequel to arrive December 2016

Twentieth Century Fox and director James Cameron announced today that the “Avatar” sequels have grown in number from two to three.

Cameron has hired screenwriters Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”), Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Rise of the Planets of the Apes”), and Shane Salerno (“Savages,” “Salinger”) to collaborate with him on the screenplays for “Avatar 2,” “Avatar 3” and “Avatar 4.”

The three tentpoles will be filmed simultaneously with production beginning next year.  The release of the first sequel will be in December 2016, with the second to follow in December 2017 and the third a year later.

Though Friedman is best known for writing on the TV show “The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” Friedman’s attachment is just a coincidence since Cameron had nothing to do with the show even though he helped create the “Terminator” characters with Gale Anne Hurd.

Cameron is producing with his Lighthouse Entertainment partner Jon Landau. No release date has been set.

The first “Avatar” is the highest grossing film at the domestic and worldwide box office having earned more than $760 million domestically and $2.7 billion worldwide.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 14

Leave a Reply

14 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Billy V. says:

    I’ll be the first to admit I’ve never seen Avatar entirely at least once: The times I’ve seen were clips of it in stores afterward. In fact, the one time with friends that I saw it, it was on the HD TVs and while it wasn’t on the highest setting, it was good enough for one of my friends to want to buy it right then & there. I do understand peoples’ apprehension of a sequel, but I think they should wait & see until the first clips of it show up to decide to see it or not. Besides, at least its a Cameron sequel & not an M. Night sequel (you know, ‘The Last Airbender’).

  2. David D. says:

    The fact that Hollywood studios are betting heavily on sequels to every successful movie, tells me that ther’s little room for any original work to see production. I was a big fan of Cameron early in his career, his films were richer and more interesting. I was hoping to see something more ambitious after Avatar but he seems to be more interested in the technical aspects of cinema. Elysium looks interesting. I hope it’s as good as it looks and becomes a global success, but then there’ll be more sequels.

  3. Alex says:

    Avatar was the first Cameron film I didn’t like that much. Every single film ‘seems’ to have some environmental message just wedged in there. Hell, I was watching Avengers and Tony Stark mentions ‘Clean energy’ and knowing what I know about engineering thought ‘Well, where does the energy come from?’ Not to mention the other stuff about anti-military, anti-capitalism, anti-earth people. Man, where’s the love? It really got old after a while and don’t see a sequel coming out of it. It’s not Star Wars, like some people claim.

    Could Cameron surprise us? Yeah, he’s done that before. But you can only do that so many times.

  4. occultology says:

    ‘Avatar’ was the first ‘very good movie’ that I ever watched and enjoyed & could not care less to ever see it, or its offspring cousin sequels, ever again. Fox is obviously still smarting from losing the ‘Star Wars’ franchise to Disney in one of the stupidest ‘business decisions’ a Hollywood studio ever made: first, giving merchandising rights to George Lucas, and secondly, giving him full ownership of the franchise back when they desperately wanted the first sequel for distribution. Fox’s loss is Disney’s gain because ‘Star Wars’ is the greatest babysitter ever invented, while ‘Avatar’ , in spite of its impressive visuals, is movie-making masterbation wrapped in corporate greed.

  5. John says:

    Let me guess. White elitist homophobic and xenophobic corporate types from earth will return to Pandora to mine unobtainium and the peace loving, Ewa worshiping blue folks will have to rally around a series of atrocities and personal losses to kick them out. Along the way they will be split up and a couple of them will have to get to a place that they could easily have flown to but decide to walk towards. Meanwhile the bulk of them will be engaged in a series of fights before being reunited with another small group that inexplicably manage to forget all their forestcraft and get separated.

  6. Marx says:

    Thats gonna be pretty awesome considering that avatar was a smash hit :D

  7. cheeky41 says:

    Its about time!

  8. Mr Man says:

    Don’t tell me … the VFX will be done in China for cheap cheap CHEAP. Name recognition alone will bring in the $$$ plus China will own IMAX. The VFX will rival the SciFi Channel, but… Chinese writers have good ideas for story,so they will handle that too. The Blue Ray will be sold ONLY at Walmart.

  9. Charlie says:

    *Lightstorm Entertainment. Not Lighthouse.

  10. The Kingslayer says:

    A trilogy was fine but four movies is just too much.

  11. LOL says:

    Blimey, the cinema has become the equivalent of a really expensive television channel; the same old overblown serials featuring tiresomely familiar characters doing more of what they did in the last instalment. Give us something that punches right in the face with unexpected originality, Hollywood.

  12. Chaeck says:

    My hunch is that these sequels will not generate as much business as Cameron or Fox expect. Although ‘Avatar’ was a commercial juggernaut in 2009-2010, I would argue that, 3 years later, it is not particularly well-regarded or well remembered, and its pop cultural impact has been slim. Who out there is clamoring for one sequel, let alone three?

    • HH17 says:

      I also agree, and I’ve been saying this for a while. People have moved on from Avatar. While it was a good movie when it came out, it has not proven to have a lasting effect, and likely will not stand the test of time in the long run. People saw it when it came out (myself included) because it was the big “thing” at the time, with it’s spectacular visual effects that were arguably unmatched at the time. Everyone wanted to see it. However, when that’s pretty much your only draw, the film becomes stale rather quickly. When I watch Avatar now (which is rare), I’m not particularly impressed by it. Other movies have quickly met and surpassed it’s special effects, and while Avatar’s are still very good, they’re no longer anything special. The film is also incredibly boring, and it drags on too long with it’s preachy message.

      Compare this to Titanic, which has been very fondly remembered by audiences since it came out nearly 15 years ago, and has arguably become a modern classic. This is because it’s special effects weren’t it’s ONLY draw. The same can be said about any “big” film that has stood the test of time. Sure, Star Wars’ (original) special effects are a bit dated now, but the film is still just as (if not more) popular today because it didn’t rely solely on it’s “wow” factor in 1977.

      I think the future Avatar films WILL do decent business, but nothing incredible, and will likely be mild disappointments, especially compared to the first film. No, I don’t think we’ve found our next Star Wars franchise, certainly not our next Wizard of Oz, Sound of Music, or Godfather like some people thought it would be.

    • I agree, my first question was where is the audience whom were asking for so many sequels? I’m curious as to what sort of story they can coin in to further six hours of content (assuming each movie is roughly over 2 hours) that is gripping enough to recapture the audience from the first movie as well as a fresh audience.

      I enjoyed the first one well enough went it first came out, but frankly it wasn’t enough for me to ask for a sequel.

More Film News from Variety

Loading