AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER Director James Cameron Admits He Was Reluctant About Making Upcoming Sequels

It's been thirteen years, but we'll finally return to Pandora this December. Filmmaker James Cameron says he was reluctant to make his sequels, but ultimately drew inspiration from The Lord of the Rings!

When Avatar was released in 2009, it broke box office records and delivered 3D visuals unlike anything ever seen in theaters before. While reviews were positive, the movie wasn't exactly hailed as a masterpiece, and its legacy has been somewhat tarnished by the wave of awful 3D conversions that followed as Hollywood tried and failed to replicate the blockbuster's success. 

Little could we have known that the movie would spawn as many as four sequels, all of which are now happening under the watchful eye of the Disney-owned 20th Century Studios. 

The last filmmaker to embark on a journey as ambitious as what James Cameron has planned was arguably Peter Jackson. As it turns out, his adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are at the forefront of the Avatar: The Way of Water director's mind.

"What I said to the Fox regime at the time was, 'I’ll do it, but we’ve got to play a larger game here. I don’t want to just do a movie and do a movie and do a movie. I want to tell a bigger story,'" Cameron tells Empire Online (via SFFGazette.com) of his ambitious sequel plans. "I said, 'Imagine a series of novels like The Lord Of The Rings existed, and we’re adapting them.' Now, that was great in theory, but then I had to go create the frickin’ novels from which to adapt it."

"I had to think long and hard whether I even wanted to make another Avatar film, because it was kind of ours to lose," he continues. "When you’ve done something that’s been that transcendent in terms of success, do you really want to go try and do that again? There’s a lot of pressure on it. I thought about it for a good two years before we finally made a deal."

With any luck, these movies will have been worth the wait. Avatar: The Way of Water is first up, and while Avatar 3 has already been shot, how these two perform will decide whether we end up getting Cameron's planned fourth and fifth chapters. 

You can also check out a new still from the movie below:
 


Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.

Directed by Avatar helmer James Cameron and produced by Cameron and Jon Landau, Avatar: The Way of Water stars Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, and Kate Winslet.

To whet audiences' appetites, Disney/20th Century Studios will re-release Avatar in theaters on September 23. As for Avatar: The Way of Water, that arrives in theaters worldwide on December 16.

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