The success of James Cameron’s Avatar was inspiring: an indication that it is possible to launch a new saga in reboot-happy Hollywood. Now it looks like Avatar is all he will be working on for, well, the rest of his filmmaking career. In an interview with the The New York Times, Cameron explains that he has shut down the development arm of his production company and is no longer working on new projects:
“I’m in the Avatar business. Period. That’s it. I’m making Avatar 2, Avatar 3, maybe Avatar 4, and I’m not going to produce other people’s movies for them. I’m not interested in taking scripts…. I think within the Avatar landscape I can say everything I need to say that I think needs to be said, in terms of the state of the world and what I think we need to be doing about it. And doing it in an entertaining way.”
Cameron goes on to note that anything he can’t say within the confines of Avatar‘s elaborate alien-treehugger mythology structure will instead be expressed in documentary form. (He’s working on a documentary about his deep-sea dive.) That’s disappointing for anyone who was hoping for movement on Cameron’s long-promised adaptation of Battle Angel — or, indeed, anyone hoping for a James Cameron movie not starring sexy volleyball-team cat people. The last time a major director gave himself over to a single science-fiction franchise, it worked out really well before it worked out really not so well.
As for Avatar 2, here’s what Cameron had to say about the movie’s status:
“So we’ve been mostly working on the tool set, the production pipeline, setting up the new stages in Los Angeles, setting up the new visual effects pipeline in New Zealand, that sort of thing. And, by the way, writing.”