James Cameron has been filming the upcoming Avatar sequels, and while fans are still waiting for Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 to hit theaters, Cameron says that he already shot footage that will appear in the proposed fourth movie. The 67-year-old filmmaker has been approaching the production of the sequels as a huge undertaking.
In a recent interview with Dune director Denis Villeneuve, for Variety, Cameron talked about his method for directing the Avatar sequels, noting that he's worried that the franchise's younger actors in the films might age out of their roles before a planned six-year age-up in the fourth movie.
"2 is fully in the can," Cameron said about the first sequel to his 2009 science fantasy blockbuster . "We have a working cut that we're filling in the visual effects within. I feel pretty confident with that film. 3 is still a bit shadowy. It's way too long. I haven't really turned my energy into a disciplined cutting process on that yet. But I know I've got the performances. That's the important thing. I've done all the capture. I've done most of the live-action shooting. I still owe a little bit on some of the adult characters. We were more concerned with the kids aging out."
The filmmaker added, "We mixed the schedules for 2 and 3 together, based on the types of scenes and the environments. I said, let's just treat it like it's a six-hour miniseries and we're only going to go to Frankfurt once. We're going to shoot all the scenes from 2 and 3 at the same time. That was more or less the motif. Actor availability was an issue as well. Anything that had to be done with a specific actor, we did all the scenes for 2 and 3 together — and a little bit of 4. Because once again, I had to shoot the kids out. They're allowed to age six years in the middle of the story on page 25 of movie 4. So I needed everything before then, and then everything after, we'll do later.'"
It sounds like Jake and Neytiri's kids will play an important role in the Avatar sequels. Not much is known about the plot of Avatar 2 and the other sequels, but you can check out more details about the sequels here.
Avatar 2 had wrapped filming in September 2020, with production on Avatar 3 also coming to a close. At one point, Avatar 2 was set to release this Friday, but its current release date is still December 16, 2022. Avatar 3 is set to release in December 20, 2024; Avatar 4 will be released in December 2026; and Avatar 5 will be out in December 2028.