Avatar: The Way of Waterhas been a long time coming. Despite the 13-year gap between movies, writer and director James Cameron has been focused on Pandora’s future, planning out a five-movie arc that could tell the legacy of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña)

In fact, the director currently has Avatar 3 ready to go, since he filmed many of the sequences involving the children featured in the movies all at once. Unfortunately, the series’ future remains unknown until The Way of Water hits theaters in December followed by the release of Avatar 3. 

When speaking to Total Film magazine, Cameron said he is prepared to cut his franchise short if The Way of Water and Avatar 3 underperforms at the box office, despite already having a fourth movie ready on the back burner. 

“The market could be telling us we’re done in three months, or we might be semi-done, meaning: ‘OK, let’s complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly,’ if it’s just not profitable,” Cameron said. 

Cameron acknowledged how the industry has changed since the pandemic.

“We’re in a different world now than we were when I wrote this stuff, even,” the filmmaker said. “It’s the one-two punch—the pandemic and streaming. Or, conversely, maybe we’ll remind people what going to the theater is all about. This film definitely does that. The question is, how many people give a shit now?”

Considering that the recent re-release of Avatar has earned over $15 million in the U.S. and $40 million worldwide almost 13 years after its initial box-office reign, it appears that many people are still interested in the world Cameron created. These numbers don’t include the re-release in China in 2021 which saw a gross of $44 million in 10 days. 

While Avatar still sits at #1 at the worldwide box office, Cameron wants to prepare for the worst and is ready to condense his story if the reception to the next two films in the franchise does not justify more. 

“Movie 4 is a corker. It’s a motherfucker. I actually hope I get to make it,” Cameron said. “But it depends on market force. Three is in the can so it’s coming out regardless. I really hope that we get to make 4 and 5 because it’s one big story, ultimately.” 

If The Way of Water and Avatar 3 can make a splash at the box office, then Cameron will continue working on the franchise, but not from the director’s chair. Cameron hinted earlier this year that if the fourth movie does happen, he may not return to lead the cast and crew throughout the production.  

“The Avatar films themselves are kind of all-consuming,” Cameron told Empire magazine. “I’ve got some other things I’m developing as well that are exciting. I think eventually over time—I don’t know if that’s after three or after four—I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over, so I can go do some other stuff that I’m also interested in. Or maybe not. I don’t know.” 

Hopefully, we get to explore more of Pandora, since it is one of Cameron’s biggest feats to date. While he may not be behind the camera for the last two movies, the boundary-pushing story and breathtaking world Cameron has created will always remain stunning. 

Will you be watching Avatar: The Way of Water when it hits theaters on Dec. 16? Let us know in the comments below! 

Source: Total Film