Movies & TV / Columns

Is James Cameron Overestimating the Appeal of Avatar?

June 1, 2020 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Avatar Avatar 2

With everything going on, news and rumors out of Hollywood have come to a trickle. I could have gone with an old standby and write something about Star Wars but was saved with some news concerning everyone’s favorite movie that they barely remember…Avatar!

With it being more than a decade since its release, news that James Cameron is delving back into that world has…not exactly set the internet abuzz with anticipation. 

Still, the production is ready to get back underway for filming on Avatar 2 and 3 with producer Jon Landau sharing an on-set shot of two boats from the film in celebration of the crew’s return. The two movie are being shot simultaneously in New Zealand, but filming had been put on hold due to Covid-19.

Landau shared with RNZ that a small production team would be returning to New Zealand to film soon, allowing the project to move forward. You might be concerned about their well being but don’t fret. All involved will enter quarantine for two weeks to make sure they are not bringing the disease into the island country. From there they will follow a “detailed and diligent safety plan that will keep everybody as safe as possible in these unprecedented times.”

Avatar has been able to keep its release dates despite production delays, meaning the multiple sequels coming out are not delayed. Avatar 2 will release on December 17, 2021, Avatar 3 on December 22, 2022, Avatar 4 on December 19, 2025, and Avatar 5 on December 17, 2027. 

Got all that? 4 SEQUELS through 2027! 

In case you were wondering what direction the…franchise…will be taking, Landau said, “This is the story of the Sully family and what one does to keep their family together. Jake and Neytiri have a family in this movie, they are forced to leave their home, they go out and explore the different regions of Pandora, including spending quite a bit of time on the water, around the water, in the water.”

Excited? This all matches up with some of the released images that showed where the sequels were going to take place. 

It’s important to note that during its theatrical run, Avatar broke several box office records and became the highest-grossing film of all time.

It also became the first movie to gross more than $2 billion and the best-selling film of 2010 in the United States. Avatar was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won three, for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects.

I’ve touched in the past the problem of how the movie has aged and the answer is…not so well. Nothing really stands out as memorable or quotable from the movie. From plot to action, the movie feels familiar and relies heavily on special effects as its hook. While I admire its success, I didn’t leave the theater wishing for more.

I’m willing to be that I’m not alone. The Avatar franchise is already set but is the audience still out there or has Cameron overestimated its appeal?

How excited are you for FOUR more Avatar movies?

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Avatar 2, Steve Gustafson