To some it’s a mashup of “Dancing With Wolves” and “Ferngully: The Last Rainforest.” But James Cameron’s “Avatar” has stormed the international box office with a global taking of more than $1.6 billion and may very well be on its way for a sequel … or two.
“I have a trilogy-scaled arc of story right now,” Cameron told MTV. “But I haven’t really put any serious work into writing a script.”
If and when his plans make it to the development stage, both projects will apparently chart the lives of Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) following the events of “Avatar” that left Jake now a permanent resident of the planet Pandora and one of the Na’vi. And, according to Cameron, the production process should be a much slicker ride this time now that the technology responsible for creating that world has essentially been mastered.
“Part of what we set out to do is create a world and create these characters,” Cameron said. “From the time we capture and finish the capture, it’s literally nine to 10 months to get the [computer-generated] characters working, to get their facial musculature working.
“So now we have Jake, we have Neytiri. Sam can step right back into it, the characters will fit them like a glove, and we’ll just go on. So a lot of the start-up torque that had to be done for one movie really makes more sense if you play it out across several films.”
Does that mean any sequel will match the visuals of the first movie? Well, not really. Cameron intends to improve the whole process in a similar way to the improvements applied to his Alien and Terminator franchises.
“My next goal is to refine the technique, make it easier so it doesn’t take as long,” Cameron explained. “We were doing a lot of pioneering work on ‘Avatar.’ It wouldn’t have taken as long if we already knew exactly how to do it.”
“Avatar” is now playing in theaters all over the world.