As South Park famously said, James Cameron doesn’t do what James Cameron does for James Cameron, James Cameron does what James Cameron does because James Cameron is James Cameron.
The Academy Award-winning filmmaker is always pushing the technological boundaries of cinema, and those kinds of groundbreaking innovations certainly don’t come cheap. The Titanic director hasn’t made a movie that cost less than $100 million since the 1980s, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the multiple Avatar sequels are set to cost a pretty penny.
The first visit to Pandora ran up a massive $237 million budget a decade ago, and with Cameron promising to deliver a theatrical experience the likes of which we’ve never seen before, the second, third, fourth and fifth installments in the franchise are set to rack up over a billion dollars in production costs combined.
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You’d think that shooting Avatars 2 and 3 back-to-back would lower the price tag somewhat, but that definitely doesn’t seem to be the case here, with Cameron refusing to even contemplate finishing parts 4 and 5 until the numbers come in for the first two sequels. The original is one of those movies that people seem to have turned on in recent years, but you should never rule out anything when it comes to James Cameron, especially when you know he’s desperate to reclaim his title as the director of the highest-grossing movie in history after Avengers: Endgame came along and stole his thunder. Although, he’s definitely not bitter about it.
Of course, the burning question surrounding the multiple Avatar sequels is if people are even going to care. The opener was a truly immersive and unique work of cinema, but there was a lot of criticism leveled at the story and there doesn’t seem to be any real enthusiasm about the prospect of four more adventures set in that universe. However, James Cameron has been written off plenty of times before only to prove everyone wrong in spectacular fashion, and he’s more than capable of doing it again.