Filmmaker James Cameron reiterated that the future of the Avatar franchise is uncertain beyond the upcoming second film, Avatar: The Way of Water, and maybe the third film. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar-winning director of blockbusters such as Terminator 2, Titanic, and Avatar, said that he’d love to continue making more Avatar movies, but market forces will dictate the franchise’s future.
Cameron has already shot all of Avatar 3, which is currently dated for 2024, and has filmed parts of Avatar 4. A fifth film has been announced, and Cameron said that if given the opportunity, he has ideas for Avatar 6 and 7 as well. “We know exactly where we’re going, if we get the opportunity to do it. And that opportunity will simply be market-driven, if people want it, if they like this movie enough,” he said.
He reasoned that the third film will probably be released even if the second one flops dramatically, simply because Disney has spent around $100 million on it already. “We’ll probably finish movie three regardless because it’s all shot,” he said, adding, “We’d have to really crater for it not to seem like it was worth the additional investment. We’d have to leave a smoking hole in the ground. Now, hopefully, we get to tell the whole thing because five’s better than four, four’s better than three, and three’s better than two.”
The budget for Avatar: The Way of Water is said to be around $350 million, which would make it one of the most expensive movies of all time. In an earlier interview, Cameron said that the film would have to become the ‘third or fourth’ biggest movie of all time to break even, meaning that it will have to make around $2 billion to be counted as a success. The first Avatar remains the biggest film of all time, with $2.9 billion at the global box office. The Way of Water will be released on December 16.