James Cameron has a lot on his plate. He is going to reboot the iconic Terminator franchise, about which not much is known. Apart from that, he also has four – yes, four – sequels of Avatar lined up for release. Avatar, released in 2009, was hailed as a technological masterpiece and was praised for its visuals. While the story was not as appreciated, it apparently had enough potential to spawn four sequels.
Collider quoted James Cameron as saying that the four upcoming Avatar movies are one generational family saga in the vein of The Godfather trilogy. He said, “In terms of the story we’re telling… I’ve found myself as a father of five starting to think about what would an Avatar story be like if it was a family drama. What if it was The Godfather? So that’s what [the Avatar sequels are] – it’s a generational family saga. That’s very different than the first film. There’s still the same setting and the same respect for the ‘shock of the new’. We still want to show you things that you haven’t even seen or imagined, but the story is very different. It’s a continuation of the same characters… but what happens when warriors who are willing to go on suicide charges and leap off cliffs, what happens when they grow up and have their own kids? It becomes a very different story. Now the kids are the risk takers and the change makers…”
The original Avatar touched upon themes of colonisation, corporate greed, racism, and so on. If Cameron is being honest about this, the future Avatar movies mark a great departure. The original film was derided for its simplistic story, and perhaps Cameron is course-correcting.
Cameron also spoke on the Terminator reboot. “We’re developing a new Terminator film. And The Terminator films are all about artificial intelligence. But I would say we’re looking at it differently than when I wrote the first story in 1982. That was just your classic ‘technology bad, smart computers bad’ kind of thing. Nowadays though – it’s got to be a much more nuanced perspective. So its ‘Smart computers bad… BUT…’ That’s the new motif.”
The first Avatar sequel arrives in December 2020 and Terminator reboot film The Terminator arrives on November 22, 2019.