James Cameron’s Avatar remains something of a pop culture anomaly. It is a huge movie, reigning supreme at the box office for over a decade and needing the combined might of ten years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the conclusion of the Infinity Saga to topple it. So why, then, has it made absolutely zero cultural impact beyond the movie and the box office?

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There are no toys, very few Na’avi at ComicCon, no gatherings, no TV spin-offs, no long-lasting video games, its theme didn’t dominate the charts for months like Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves or Titanic. Beyond the impressive theme park experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom you wouldn’t really know it had ever existed.

Judging the facts in the cold light of day, it looks clear that a huge chunk of its box office revenue was derived from it being the vanguard of the now-dead 3D cinema revolution. You HAD to see it on the big screen and you HAD to pay extra for a 3D viewing.

However, you can never count James Cameron out. Quite simply one of the finest purveyors of action, adventure, and sci-fi. He even made the dreary and melodramatic watchable in Titanic. So if he says he wants four sequels to Avatar, then who is Hollywood to say no? All four are written before he even completes shooting Avatar 2.

It took him 12 years, but now we are one year of post-production away from returning to Pandora.

In an interview with Total Film about the upcoming sequels, producer Jon Landau talked about why it has taken so long and the process.

“The scripts are the blueprint from which we work. So a large portion of our time was writing… with the challenge that each of those four scripts had to individually resolve itself in a story that concludes with a big emotional resolution – but when you look at them as a whole, the connected story arc of all four movies creates an even larger epic saga.”

He says the story for Avatar 2 takes place with exactly the same time having occurred for Sam Worthington’s Jake and Zoe Saldana’s Neytiri – 13 years. Time enough for them to start a family.

“I think the story of Avatar 2, and the strength of the story, is what Jim [Cameron] always does in any of his movies: he writes in universal themes that are bigger than any one genre. And if you think about this, there’s really no more universal theme than family. At the center of each of our sequels is the Sully family. What are the dynamics that parents go through to protect their family?”

He confirmed that the plot of Avatar 2 sees the RDA mining operation return to Pandora, disrupting Sully’s content and peaceful life. Jake and his family are forced to flee to the reef where he believes they will be safe. Landau tells us:

“…and when you get to the reef, there’s a clan we call the Metkayina. The Sullys are no longer in the environment that they know, the rainforest. They become the fish out of water. They become the fish out of water both culturally and just environmentally.”

Avatar 2 has a release date of December 16th, 2022. Let’s be honest, we will probably all be there when it does open.

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