Avatar (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, File)
By Rebecca Ford, The Hollywood Reporter
Fox ended its Thursday CinemaCon presentation with a surprise guest: James Cameron.
He announced that there will be four Avatar sequels, not the three previously planned. “We have decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic process,” he said.
Cameron said as he was planning the three sequels, he found it limiting. “We began to bump up against the limitations for our art form,” he said, explaining that he decided he would need more sequels to tell the whole story.
He said each of the four sequels will be able to stand alone, but will together create a saga. His goal is to release Avatar 2 at Christmas 2018 and the a new film in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
“I’ve been working the last couple of years with a team of four top screenwriters,” he said, “to design the world of Avatar going forward: The characters, the creatures, the environment, the new cultures.”
“So far, the art I’m seeing, is in pure imagination, really far beyond the first film,” he said. “It’s going to be a true epic saga.”
The 2009 film earned $2.8 billion worldwide.
Cameron also spoke at length in support of the theatrical experience.
“So together, we’re going to continue to make this industry the greatest show on earth. That’s what we do,” he said to strong applause.
James Cameron also slammed the Screening Room, saying “I think it’s absolutely essential for movies to be offered exclusively in theaters on their their initial release. So boom.“
Watch the original ‘Avatar’ trailer: