While almost the entirety of the first installment was shot on a cavernous soundstage, quizzical eyebrows were raised when it was first revealed that James Cameron’s many Avatar sequels would be doing some location filming as part of a mammoth production that’s been ongoing since the summer of 2017.
Earth was barely even mentioned in the highest-grossing movie ever made, never mind visited, but it sounds as though that’ll change as the franchise gears up for its major expansion. In a conversation with Dune‘s Denis Villenueve for Variety, Cameron confirmed that the multiple follow ups will be touching down on our planet intermittently.
“Just like Dune takes place across worlds, the later Avatars take place across, certainly across two worlds, because some of it takes place on Earth as the story evolves.”
The mere existence of Pandora within the context of the Avatar mythology is incredible when you think about it, given that Cameron has fully developed countless species, languages and even an ecosystem in order to aid his creativity, so heading back to Earth might pale in comparison to whatever unfolds on the Na’vi homeworld.
Then again, Avatar took place in 2154, so it’s not as if things would look the same on our planet as they do now, and it would give Cameron and his team the opportunity to create a second richly-detailed backdrop fueled by relentless technological advancement, something that would act as a solid counterpoint to the natural forests and oceans of Pandora.