James Cameron on Avatar 2 and a Possible Avatar Re-Release
Posted 04.22.10 by Ryan
Once Avatar became the highest-grossing movie of all time, it seemed just a matter of time before James Cameron assembled his team to do a sequel. However, Cameron told The LA Times that it's not box-office receipts that compel him to make Avatar 2, but an ethical reason.
I think it's really interesting that these people see their reality reflected in the movie. And of course this is what's caused all of these [environmental] groups to come to us and say, "Can you help us? Can we do fundraising? Can you help with awareness? Can we associate our website? Can we link to Avatar?" All of these things. Right now, my challenge is to orchestrate this in a way that Avatar can continue to do some good. I think the movie itself is reaching people all over the world, which it clearly did by the amount of money it made. It created a sense of an emotional response to this environmental crisis and I think it even may have made it an emotional call to action. The next step is people need to know what to do — what do I specifically do in my life next so that I don't feel helpless and powerless.
It makes certain projects that I liked as potential films seem trivial by comparison. I think it makes the idea of making another Avatar film more attractive. Because not only is it good business, but it's good for the environment.
Cameron says one of the challenges in Avatar 2 will be to "do what we did before at half the price and in half the time," which will have to coincide with "a great story or great characters or great new settings" though, Cameron admits, the story is not yet finished. Cameron did admit, however, that he has an idea of the world that Avatar 2 might inhabit.
We created a broad canvas for the environment of film. That's not just on Pandora, but throughout the Alpha Centauri AB system. And we expand out across that system and incorporate more into the story — not necessarily in the second film, but more toward a third film. I've already announced this, so I might as well say it: Part of my focus in the second film is in creating a different environment — a different setting within Pandora. And I'm going to be focusing on the ocean on Pandora, which will be equally rich and diverse and crazy and imaginative, but it just won't be a rain forest. I'm not saying we won't see what we've already seen; we'll see more of that as well.
With Avatar releasing to DVD today, there are still some people — perhaps 5 or 6 — that missed Cameron's movie in the theater. Cameron admitted that a re-release with additional footage is in the works.
We're working on finishing an additional six minutes of the film — which includes a lot of Weta work — for a theatrical re-release in August. We were sold out of our IMAX performances right up to the moment until they were contractually obligated to switch to Alice in Wonderland, so we know we left money on the table there. And the 3-D really helped Avatar right up until the moment that it hurt it. And it hurt it at the moment Alice and then How to Train Your Dragon and Clash of the Titans came in and sucked up all the 3-D screens. We went from declining 8% a week to declining 50%. Clearly, it wasn't market forces directly; it was the availability of theaters. So we're going to wait until there's a time to come back in, inject the new footage into the mix and see if we can interest people in the Avatar experience in theaters.