The release of the long-awaited Avatar sequels is fast approaching and producer Jon Landau has given fans a little information to chew on. According to recent statements made by Landau (via Collider), moviegoers will not need to see the original in order to dive into the sequel. Furthermore, each of the three upcoming films will be standalone movies.
By the time Avatar 2 comes out, it would have been 11 years since the first one took cinemas by storm. Probably one of the more divisive movies of the aughts, you either loved or hated it. Regardless of what anyone thought, Cameron’s opus became the highest grossing picture of all time. To this day, Avatar sits atop of the box-office throne with over $2.7 billion in worldwide receipts. Let us not forget that sitting at number two on the list is Cameron’s Titanic with $2.18 billion. From Terminator 2 to Aliens, the man sure does know how to make a blockbuster.
For those who forgot, the original Avatar was a basic David vs. Goliath Story. Humans invade planet to mine much-needed ore and the planet’s inhabitants fights back. Sam Worthington, once thought to be the next IT guy in Hollywood, plays Jake Sulley. Jake is a wheelchair-bound Na’Vi body pilot who goes rogue and joins the opposition to fight for Pandora. The movie was basically Dances With Wolves in space, but it resonated with fans like no other.
It was the jaw-dropping 3D effects that put butts in seats and spurned a whole generation of subpar 3D movies. Since Avatar, there have been less than a handful of projects that were made better by the 3D process. Most of the time, the visual style is just a cash grab from studios wanting to charge more for tickets.
We’ve known since the start that Cameron wanted to make Avatar into a trilogy, but the fact that they won’t be connected is something new. According to Landau:
“Each movie is a standalone movie that we would wanna go see. You don’t need to have seen the first Avatar to see Avatar 2. It sits there and we’re gonna take people on a visual and an emotional journey that comes to its own conclusion. Okay, step back. Is that a movie we would wanna make just as a standalone story? Yes. Now we do the same thing on Movie 3, Movie 4, and Movie 5. What we have the luxury of on Avatar is the world of Pandora. We get to keep it there but everything can be new, we’re not treading new ground.”
Seeing as how over a decade has passed, it’s not a bad idea to move the franchise in such a direction. Recent movie sequels that have come ten and twenty years after the fact have not fared well critically or financially. With the exception of Mad Max: Fury Road, most of the pined for sequels from past favorites have been utter disappointments.
Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, and Giovanni Ribisi are all set to return for the second installment. Like it or not, the long-gestating Avatar sequels hit theaters starting with Avatar 2, in December 2020.
Are you looking forward to more Avatar movies or is it way too late to even care? Let us know in the comments below!