I think it’s safe to say that James Cameron likes water. From The Abyss and Titanic, through to his underwater IMAX documentaries, he’s shown an endless love for the waves, and now it looks like that’s where he’s planning to take the Avatar sequel.
He tells the LA Times that, “We created a broad canvas for the environment of film. Thats not just on Pandora, but throughout the Alpha Centauri AB system. And we expand out across that system and incorporate more into the story not necessarily in the second film, but more toward a third film. Ive already announced this, so I might as well say it: Part of my focus in the second film is in creating a different environment a different setting within Pandora. And Im going to be focusing on the ocean on Pandora, which will be equally rich and diverse and crazy and imaginative, but it just wont be a rain forest. Im not saying we wont see what weve already seen; well see more of that as well.”
He also confirmed that the $2.7 billion grossing movie will be back in cinemas this summer, with a bit of additional footage added. He says that “Were working on finishing an additional six minutes of the film – which includes a lot of Weta work – for a theatrical re-release in August. We were sold out of our IMAX performances right up to the moment until they were contractually obligated to switch to Alice in Wonderland, so we know we left money on the table there … So were going to wait until theres a time to come back in, inject the new footage into the mix and see if we can interest people in the Avatar experience in theaters. Itll be interesting because itll be on DVD by then, but I think Avatar is kind of a unique category where people are enjoying the unique theatrical experience even though they may have seen it on the small screen. They want to have that immersive, transportive experience.”
It’ll be interesting to see if the extended version gamble works, and it may well do, as even if it doesn’t make huge amounts in cinemas, it gives them a chance to do a massive blow-out DVD and Blu-ray release in time for Christmas, offering far more special features than the extras-lite editions coming to stores on Monday. Of course it’ll also be intriguing to find out what’s happening in the oceans of Pandora in the seuqel, but it seems we’ll have to wait a couple of years for that.