James Cameron tells CinemaCon crowd: four Avatar sequels planned, not three

Avatar

The director has told audiences in San Diego that a new movie has been added to the planned – and much-delayed – follow-ups to his 2009 3D smash

In 2009, Avatar, James Cameron’s 3D spectacular featuring a disabled soldier interacting with a planet of blue-skinned aliens, rapidly became the highest-grossing film of all time, making $2.8bn.

A sequel to the film was swiftly announced, and then an entire further trilogy, but work was delayed and none of the planned movies appeared to be progressing, despite a mooted release date for Avatar 2 of December 2014.

But speaking to the audience at CinemaCon in San Diego on Thursday, Cameron revealed not only that the second film will be out at the end of 2018, but that another will be released each year until 2022, meaning one more movie than previously anticipated is in the offing.

“We have decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic process,” said Cameron, adding that each of the new films will function both as a standalone and as part of a larger saga.

“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 added. “It’s going to be a true epic saga.”

Cameron also used the platform to attack Sean Parker’s Screening Room, arguing that the day-in-date blockbuster screening service endangered the movie-going experience.

What was required, he said, was films such as Avatar, which demand a big screen experience. “Together we’re going to continue to make this industry the biggest show on earth,” he told the audience.

“It’s essential for movies to be offered exclusively in theatres on their initial release. So: boom.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Catherine Shoard, for theguardian.com on Thursday 14th April 2016 19.56 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010