December 2014 and December 2015 are the release dates currently set for Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, and director James Cameron has been working on the scripts since the beginning of the year. With filming expected to begin next year Cameron still has plenty of time to finish them, and he gave at update on where he’s at in a recent interview.
From Fox News:
“We’re shooting two films back-to-back, so I’m writing two scripts, not one, which will complete a [three]-film story arc – not really a trilogy, but just an overall character arc so I’m pretty excited about that,” he said. “We’re doing a lot of preliminary work right now on new software and new animation techniques and so on. We’re creating a new facility in Manhattan Beach so everybody that’s not already dead is coming back.”
Cameron also spoke about the pressure of making the sequels following the $2.78 billion dollar success of the first film.
“There’s always an expectation. I had to deal with that after ‘The Terminator’ back in 1984. All of a sudden I had a big hit movie and it was ‘what are you doing next?’ But my job is take the audience on a journey and entertain them,” he added. “The second I am sitting down writing, I just go to Pandora. I don’t think about that stuff, about standing on a red carpet. It has its own life, really. The characters have their own lives.”
Earlier this year Sam Worthington mentioned that Cameron is going to explore more of what lies beneath the oceans on Pandora, although he said “it won’t fully take place underwater but he’s definitely going to explore — same as the mountains, he can explore more, outer space [as well] — it’s up to him.” Motion capture underwater will be a challenge, but Cameron has been pushing the boundaries of movie technology for years, so he’ll likely do it again.