CinemaCon 2016 ended yesterday with surprise guest James Cameron.
He didn’t tell us anything new about the projects in development, except that there would not be four sequels instead of three.
For ages Cameron has said that he was planning three sequels but, “We began to bump up against the limitations for our art form,” and it was at that point he decided that he needed another episode to fully tell his story.
“We have decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic process,” he said, “The stuff that’s been developed is really far beyond the first film.”
According for Mr. Cameron, each of the movies will be able to stand alone, but together will create a saga.
“I’ve been working the last couple of years with a team of four top screenwriters, to design the world of ‘Avatar’ going forward: The characters, the creatures, the environment, the new cultures.
“So far, the art I’m seeing is in pure imagination, really far beyond the first film,” he continued, “It’s going to be a true epic saga.”
The original sequel is still planned for a Christmas 2018 release, with subsequent releases for Christmas 2020, 2022 and 2023. (That is definitely one way to ensure you have work for a few years.)