Avatar 3 may not have hit theatres yet, but veteran filmmaker James Cameron has already planned the franchise’s sixth and seventh films, according to People. The director opened up about the sequels and his involvement at the 51st annual Saturn Awards in Los Angeles.
“We’re fully written through movie five, and I’ve got ideas for six and seven, although I’ll probably be handing the baton on at that point,” Cameron told People. “I mean, mortality catches up. But I mean, we’re enjoying what we’re doing. We’re loving it. We get to work with great people.”
Cameron, who received four awards at the ceremony, including Best Feature Director, also discussed his vision for Avatar to be a franchise similar to Star Wars and Star Trek. “Star Trek, Star Wars, the world-building franchises that have been around since I was a kid — those were my inspirations,” said Cameron. “And as I was saying out there, we’re still a young universe. We’re only two movies in; we’re halfway through our third right now. To have that kind of cultural impact over time, you got to pour all your heart and energy into it.”
Avatar’s third movie is expected to hit theatres in 2025, with Avatar 4 following in 2029 and Avatar 5 in 2031. Cameron continued, “People are always asking us, ‘So why did you just keep working in the same way?’ Why did Lucas keep working on the same thing? Why did Roddenberry keep working on the same thing? Because when you connect with people, why would you squander that? Why would you start over with something else that might not connect?”
“And there are more stories to tell,” added Avatar producer Jon Landau, 63. “I mean, it’s not like we’re trying to come up with stories. He’s got the stories and we took the time to lay them out across all four sequels.” According to People, Cameron went on to say that if the movies continue to be successful — the first two films have become the No. 1 and No. 3 highest-grossing movies of all time — it proves that “people are innately empathetic.”
“They innately want a connection to each other,” he added. “They innately want beauty. And so many science fiction films are dystopian.”
“Ours is dystopian in its message to some extent, but it’s about beauty, it’s about connection, it’s about positive values, and that seems to be working,” Cameron continued. “So what does that tell us about us? And as human beings globally? Because the films are successful in all markets everywhere. And so I think that’s empowering for us.”
While Avatar was released in 2009, Avatar: The Way of Waterhit theatres in 2022 and grossed a stunning 2.3 billion dollars at the box office. Cameron and Landau have remained fairly tight-lipped about the upcoming sequels, but the director teased the franchise in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last year: “We decided we needed to leap way ahead to places that people couldn’t have predicted (for The Way of Water) and we’re gonna do that again with movie 3 as well,” reported People.