The premiere of Avatar: The Way of Water has happened, so now it is straight on final approach to the big release and the settlement of one of the Outpost’s biggest recent debates – will it be anything like the success of the first movie? We will find out the direction of travel in just a few days.

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There is a lot riding on this. As we know, Avatar 3 is already in the can. Avatar 4 has been partially shot at the same time, whenever the chance presented itself. Avatar 5 is already written. Whether the 4th gets finished and 5th is even made at all depends wholly on how Avatar: The Way Of Water and Avatar 3 perform.

Of course, Cameron is out doing the rounds this week with release just days away. In an interview with Collider he spoke about the writing process and how he had completely written the screenplays before a single moment of production on a single movie was allowed. He cited his inspiration for this approach:

“My model was what Peter Jackson did with The Lord of the Rings, which was a crazy bet in its time. And really hats off to that, that they took that chance to launch on all three of those films. But he had the books mapped out, so he could always show the actors what they needed to know about their character arc. So I felt I had to do the same thing. I had to play this as if the books already existed.”

This is how they managed to chop and change production focus, as they had a clearly mapped out story. So when the opportunity presented itself they could shoot parts of 2, parts of 3, or parts of 4 on any given day to get the most efficiency. He spoke about how the story ramps up and up from here, if he’s allowed to make these movies:

“I can’t tell you the details, but all I can say is that when I turned in the script for 2, the studio gave me three pages of notes. And when I turned in the script for 3, they gave me a page of notes, so I was getting better.

When I turned in the script for 4, the studio executive, creative executive over the films wrote me an email that said, ‘Holy f—.’ And I said, ‘Well, where are the notes?’ And she said, ‘Those are the notes.’ Because it kind of goes nuts in a good way, right?

You think you know what it’s about, and then, oh no, you don’t. I hope I get to make that film, is what I’m saying.”

See, now we just need to know! Early reviews remain overwhelmingly positive for Avatar: The Way of Water. The professional critics will be chiming in any moment now.

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The first Avatar sequel is released on December 16th.

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