Speculation about a sequel to AVATAR started before the movie was released. AVATAR’s success has ensured that sequel. Rumors are flying. Who will be in it and what will it be like? Here's what we know so far from comments by James Cameron, John Landau and members of the cast.
Guest Post by Rebecca Scudder
AVATAR’s sequel will be about Neytiri and Jake, but it is unlikely to be called AVATAR 2. According to SciFiWire, Cameron has confirmed that the Na’vi culture, including the spiritual aspects, will be a focus point for the movie. "Certainly I don't want to call it AVATAR 2," Cameron said "He's not an AVATAR anymore, is he? Maybe we'll call it Na'vi." James Cameron has said that scenes integral to the sequel were included in the first movie. There are three movies planned at this point, although AVATAR 3 information is mostly speculation on the part of fans.
While Cameron worked on AVATAR for ten years, he expects the making of the first of the AVATAR sequels to be much faster – and cheaper. There will probably be additional technological developments incorporated in the sequels, but the 3D and CGI technology used in AVATAR is already on hand for the making of the first AVATAR sequel. Cameron has confirmed, in interviews with MTV and the LA Times, that there is a trilogy planned, that it will not take ten more years to arrive, and that much of the action in the sequel will take place in the oceans of Pandora. He has also said that the sequel will take place several years after the events in AVATAR.
While the oceans of Pandora were briefly glimpsed in AVATAR with a view of Jake and Neytiri swimming, much more is due to seen in the second movie. Cameron told the LA Times that the oceans would be “rich, diverse, crazy and imaginative”. AVATAR An Activist Survival Guide mentions there are rafts of floating seaweed in the oceans. The book also has an image of the Amenonoid, a bioluminescent invertebrate with poisonous tentacles, found in ponds and lakes. Perhaps there is a larger relation in the oceans…
The sequel is in production, according to IMDB, with a scheduled release date of 2014. Fans of AVATAR are speculating that while Cameron said it will take just three years to make the sequel, the reason it will not be released in 2013 is because The Hobbit I & II are scheduled to be released in late 2012 and 2013. AVATAR’s sequel will have a release date timed not to conflict with the expected blockbusters – most likely 2014. Cameron and 20th Century Fox seem to be taking to heart the lesson learned when AVATAR’s audience share plummeted with the release of Alice in Wonderland, How to Train your Dragon and Clash of the Titans. Since there are that the Hobbit may be shot in 3D, the conflict for theater space would be even more monstrous if the Hobbit Part 2 was released at the same time as the AVATAR sequel.
It seems to be standard policy in movies that may spawn sequels to have the stars sign agreements for multi-movie contracts when they are first cast in a movie, ensuing continuity. However, not every movie pans out. With the take from AVATAR an estimated 2.7 billion, those signatures are very important. In many ways stars in AVATAR really are avatars with CGI bodies. This does not mean that the actors behind those AVATARs can be replaced easily. The distinctive personal style those actors gave their characters – and their voices – cannot easily be replaced by a different person. While Worthington and Saldana previously signed contracts for sequels to AVATAR, the terms for those contracts are likely to have changed.
More and more of the cast of AVATAR are confirming they are back in the sequel. Jake, Neytiri and Mo’at's actors are all saying they have signed on for the sequel. Curiously, Colonel Quaritch may also be back. (Did the RDA scrape DNA from the Pandoran soil to clone him? Perhaps he is featured in Na’vi nightmares.) Sigourney Weaver, whose character became one with Eywa in AVATAR, is going to return in the sequel too, although it is not known if she will be embodied. She has said that Cameron may be bringing the whole family together again.
Another rumor with some basis in comments by Cameron says that future movies will explore more of Alpha Centauri, especially the other moons of Polyphemus. This certainly would offer some spectacular scenery. Those moons also influence the tides on Pandora, making them important even if they are not explored in the first sequel.
The constructed language of Na’vi has a strong fan community trying to learn it. Those fans will get a vocabulary boost in the second movie. Additional Na’vi dialog and more abstract concepts can be expected as we learn more about the Na’vi spiritual beliefs. The ecological themes in AVATAR have resonated with people around the world, and variations on the themes will play out in the conflicts that can be expected between the Na’vi and the RDA.
With the news that time has passed on Pandora, and a projected release of 2014, the events on Pandora may match the real time passed here on Earth.
What surprises do you think Cameron has in store for us in the AVATAR sequel?