Last week, in an interview with GQ, James Cameron claimed that Avatar: The Way of Water would need to make at least $2 billion to “break even.” While most might think that the franchise would be caput if it made anything less, Cameron doesn’t think so. In fact, in a separate interview with The Hollywood Reporter released on Wednesday, he claimed that he has plans for far more films than he had previously announced.
He told the outlet that he already has plans for a 6th and 7th entry in the franchise. “I’d be 89 by then,” he said unironically. He acknowledged his mortality though stating that he realistically only had a handful of movies left in him.
He confirmed that he would most likely pass the torch to another filmmaker who shares his vision and passion. “Obviously, I’m not going to be able to make Avatar movies indefinitely [especially with] the amount of energy required,” he said. “I would have to train somebody how to do this because, I don’t care how smart you are as a director, you don’t know how to do this.”
For those wondering if the franchise needs to last that long, the filmmaker hit back at that skepticism by pointing out how the series only has a mythology spread across two movies. Comparing the franchise to Marvel and Star Wars, he said that those films have had more time to have a “real cultural impact.”
“Marvel had maybe 26 movies to build out a universe, with the characters cross-pollinating,” he said, explaining that sequels are the way in which the industry works. “When you have extraordinary success, you come back.”
Whether the film hits that $2 billion threshold or not, it seems as if Cameron is planing on taking a page at one of his earliest characters’ playbook. Like The Terminator, he’ll “be back.”
Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family, the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.
Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Giovanni Ribisi, Dileep Rao, and Matt Gerald reprise their roles from the original film, with Sigourney Weaver returning in a different role. New cast members include Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, and Brendan Cowell.
Directed by James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water is scheduled to be released on December 16, 2022, distributed by 20th Century Studios and the film will also be released in RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema, IMAX, and IMAX 3D formats.