If his recent interview with the New York Times is any indication, James Cameron is going to be sticking with the "Avatar" franchise for a good long time.
The director recently spoke by phone with the newspaper to discuss both the inroads he's making in the Chinese film industry (where he's currently looking into the possibility of doing joint productions) and his future projects, a conversation that of course included talk of his upcoming "Avatar" sequels. What came as a surprise was Cameron's mention of a possible "Avatar 4" - one more film in the franchise than he'd previously discussed.
"I’m not interested in developing anything [else]. I’m in the 'Avatar' business. Period," he told the Times. "I’m making 'Avatar 2,' 'Avatar 3,' maybe 'Avatar 4,' [italics ours] and I’m not going to produce other people’s movies for them. I’m not interested in taking scripts. And that all sounds I suppose a little bit restricted, but the point is I think within the 'Avatar' landscape I can say everything I need to say that I think needs to be said, in terms of the state of the world and what I think we need to be doing about it."
The director also took a moment to update the extent of his progress on the forthcoming sequels, the first of which isn't likely to arrive until the year 2015. Clearly these things take time.
"We’ve spent the last year and a half on software development and pipeline development," he said. "The virtual production methodology was extremely prototypical on the first film. As then, no one had ever done it before and we didn’t even know for two and half years into it and $100 million into it if it was going to work.
"So we just wanted to make our lives a whole lot easier so that we can spend a little more of our brainpower on creativity. It was a very, very uphill battle on the first film. So we’ve been mostly working on the tool set, the production pipeline, setting up the new stages in Los Angeles, setting up the new visual effects pipeline in New Zealand, that sort of thing. And, by the way, writing. We haven’t gotten to the design stage yet. That’ll be the next."
At the very least, fans can expect a James Cameron documentary to see the light of day sometime early next year. Said the director of the project, which will center on a recent deep-sea exploration that saw him setting the world record for depth diving: "I’ve done five documentaries in the last 10 years, and I’ll hopefully do a lot more. In fact, I’m doing one right now, which is on...the Deep Sea Challenge project that we just completed the first expedition. So that’ll be a film that’ll get made this year and come out first quarter of next year."
Small consolation, that, but it'll just have to do for the time being.
Are you glad to hear that Cameron is focusing solely on the "Avatar" series, or would you rather he branched out into different projects? Sound off in the comments!