“Avatar: The Way of Water” landed in theaters just this month — and already director James Cameron is charting the course for the fantasy franchise.
The 68-year-old filmmaker told Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday that some scenes involving the younger actors for the third and fourth movies have been shot for continuity reasons.
“Otherwise you get — and I love ‘Stranger Things’ — but you get the ‘Stranger Things’ effect, where they’re supposed to still be in high school, [but] they look like they’re 27,” Cameron said. “You know, I love the show. It’s OK, we’ll suspend disbelief. We like the characters. But, you know.”
The second “Avatar” welcomed new young characters who are already “growing like a weed.” For instance, actor Trinity Jo-Li Bliss was 7 years old when cast and is now 13. Jack Champion was 12 when he got the role, but is now 18.
Producer Jon Landau also revealed to Entertainment Weekly that the upcoming films will feature new biomes.
“Each movie is going to introduce audiences to new clans, new cultures on Pandora,” Landau said. “Once we introduce a character, they stay a part of the ongoing evolution. We just add to it. So you can expect to see the Metkayina that you meet in this movie in subsequent movies. There are other clans that we’ll introduce in movie 3 that you’ll see in movie 4 and so on and so forth.”
The third “Avatar” film is scheduled to drop Dec. 20, 2024.
Prior to “Avatar 2″‘s release, Cameron told Empire that he may not direct the fourth and fifth installments of the franchise.
“The ‘Avatar’ films themselves are kind of all-consuming,” he told the outlet. “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,” the “Titanic” director added.
“The Way of Water” — which had a $250 million budget — earned a whopping $53 million on its opening day, according to IMDB’s Box Office Mojo. It grossed $435 million globally on its opening weekend, according to Vulture.
The film has found itself the subject of controversy, from a promotional stunt involving dolphins to its alleged cultural appropriation of Native American and Indigenous cultures.
Cameron also made headlines Tuesday when he suggested Matt Damon should “get over” passing on a starring role in the original “Avatar,” which came out in 2009.
“He’s beating himself up over this,” Cameron said with a guffaw Friday. “And I really think, you know, ‘Matt, you’re kind of like one of the biggest movie stars in the world, get over it.’ But he had to do another ‘Bourne’ film, which was on his runway, and there was nothing we could do about that. So he had to regretfully decline.”