Our favorite filmmaker might be slightly over-prepared for his next Avatar installment.
If you are still recovering from the overstimulation and sweeping emotions from catching Avatar: The Way of Water, or need a little bit more content about the Avatar franchise to hype you up before you watch the film this weekend, then we’ve got just the thing you need.
During The Hot Mic with Jeff and Jon podcast, insider sources revealed to the host that James Cameron is rumored to have handed in a nine-hour cut of Avatar 3 to 20th Century Studios. Cameron reportedly wants to do the VFX work for all nine hours before cutting the film down to approximately three hours.
While that is a lot of footage for a film, we are not surprised at the length of the cut. Let us explain.
Why Is Avatar 3 Nine Hours Long?
Cameron is fully anticipating Avatar 3 to be the final film of his franchise if The Way of Water ends up being a box bomb.
If The Way of Water is unable to live up to the studio’s expectations, then Avatar 3 will have to be the film that wraps up the entire story. Cameron has already filmed most of the footage he needs for Avatar 4 since he needed the children in Avatar 2 to be the same age throughout the films. Rather than digitally age them to be the same age, the filmmaker chose to continue principal photography for movies that haven’t been fully green-lit to maintain continuity.
Cameron is a realistic filmmaker. He knows things can change at any moment and is ready to present a clean and satisfying ending to the Avatar films if he needs to. If not, then that footage that ends the story might be used in another Avatar film or completely scrapped and deemed unnecessary.
Seeing that the film has already made $15.8 million on international opening day, I believe that The Way of Water will ensure that the franchise continues.
Could We Get the 9-Hour Cut?
While we would love to see Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña), and their beautiful family for a few more years on the big screen, some fans are suggesting that Cameron release the film in a series format, similar to Stranger Things 4, to preserve the very lengthy cut.
What we think is wonderful about the rumor that Cameron wants all of the VFX work done is that team at Wētā is getting paid for their amazing work—whether or not it gets seen—and they have the time to create these effects. Films from the Avatar franchise and Marvel Cinematic Universe help to develop a better and faster workflow for VFX when the teams are not put under pressure to meet last-minute deadlines.
Cameron has expressed interest in creating an Avatar series for Disney+ but believes that the technology needed to do the VFX is not smart enough yet to condense the workflow for the series.
Also, it is doubtful that the studio would put a billion-dollar generating franchise on a streaming service that has already created an overwhelming amount of debt for Disney.
We will know the future of Avatar 3 in about two weeks. One thing is for sure—we won’t be getting a nine-hour film from Cameron. Although, I wouldn’t mind a four-hour film with a nice 10-minute intermission break before the third act.
Do you think the franchise should end with Avatar 3? Let us know what you think in the comments.