When it comes to his directorial output, James Cameron has focused solely on the “Avatar” franchise for over a decade now. In the 13 years since the original “Avatar” opened in theaters and became the highest-grossing film of all time, Cameron has produced four sequels and completed two of them (“Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Avatar 3”). Parts are also shot. If Cameron’s franchise continues as planned, “Avatar 4” will complete production and “Avatar 5” will be fully filmed.
Needless to say, it’s very likely that the 68-year-old Cameron will direct only “Avatar” movies for the rest of his career. This is not a problem for Cameron. Taking part in a massive Q&A session with fellow Empire magazine directors, Cameron said the “Avatar” films have enough story and technical advancements for him to develop that he doesn’t feel the franchise is robbing his career of new ideas.
“I’m sure you have many more stories/ideas you want to tell,” “RRR” director SS Rajamouli told Cameron. “Do you ever feel bad that you can’t tell them [because of all the work on ‘Avatar’]?”
“Hi, SS. Two thoughts in response to your question: The first is that the world of ‘Avatar’ is so vast that I can tell most of the stories I want to tell within it and try many stylistic tricks that I hope to explore,” Cameron replied. . “And secondly, yes… our time as artists is limited. I’ll always mourn the stories I can’t make.”
Cameron added, “I get a lot of satisfaction when other directors want to explore some of my ideas, like Kathryn Bigelow did with ‘Strange Days’ and Robert Rodriguez did when I passed the baton to him on ‘Alita: Battle Angel.’ Cameron added. “I look forward to further collaborations with acclaimed directors in the future.”
Cameron had long wanted to direct “Alita: Battle Angel,” but he gave the project to Robert Rodriguez to produce the “Avatar” sequels. Cameron was an executive producer on “Alita” and was creatively involved through filming and post-production. It looks like Cameron may be taking this approach with other movies thinking that his “Avatar” should be his priority.
Earlier this year, Cameron said he had other film ideas. He even floated the idea of giving some “Avatar” films to other directors so that he could go and direct a different film.
“The ‘Avatar’ films themselves are kind of all-consuming,” Cameron told Empire over the summer. “I’ve got other things that I’m developing that are exciting. I think eventually over time — I don’t know if it’s after three or four — I’m a director. I want to pass the baton to someone I trust to take over, so I can go do something else that I’m also interested in. Or maybe not. I don’t know.”
“Avatar: The Way of Water” is now playing in theaters nationwide