James Cameron's Avatar 2 (and beyond)

Didn’t see a thread, so here goes.

Avatar 2 is apparently scheduled for 2021, with more on the way. Here’s a peek at the filming, which for Cameron movies, always seems to push the edges in one way or another, in sometimes fascinating ways, and sometimes dangerous.

Did anyone actually like the first Avatar movie?

I guess the discussion about the sequels went into the original movie’s thread. Good to have one separate.

I’ll just reiterate what I posted there -

Betting against Jim Cameron is dumb. His track record in film is amazing.


I don’t understand making however many new Avatar movies they’re making. I honestly have never heard someone say they wanted to know more about that world. It didn’t have huge merchandising appeal, and it came out 11 years ago. The time for a sequel was 2012.

But again, Cameron does find a way to turn these ideas that seem silly into really entertaining movies. I certainly didn’t believe that you could turn Titanic into a spectacle film that made as much as it did.

So I dunno what to think. I guess I’d predict that it’ll be like the Matrix sequels. The first one will do very well (but not as well as the original), and then each successive one will do worse and worse.

I don’t think Avatar is Star Wars. I don’t think there’s multi-generational pop-cultural success to be had.

I mean, Avatar held so many records for so long, but it just boggles my mind as to how. I’ve never met anyone who actually liked it. I think it was just a matter of hype + cool new tech + pretty visuals that were evident in the trailer. A lot of people went, but did anyone like it? I don’t know.

I don’t expect the sequels to do all that well. No momentum, and I don’t think the world holds that much appeal. But I’ve been wrong about Cameron before. shrug

I know people who really liked it–including some critics–although I really don’t get why. I think some people approach certain movies as spectacles and can turn off their brains for everything else going on in a movie. Actually, a lot of the same folks probably like Titanic for similar reasons.

From a mass market perspective, I think it was the novelty of 3D and the general spectacle that made it a huge hit. I agree that I don’t think anyone really is clamoring to know more about that world. Cameron has a very successful track record, but multiple sequels is a HUGE bet to put on the table, it seems like.

I really enjoyed Avatar. It was fun and the visuals were spectacular. I’m hyped for more sequels. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a James Cameron movie where I didn’t have a good time.

There was a certain novelty to it at the time, and the visual spectacle plus the new 3D tech brought in a lot of attention that I don’t think a sequel will get.

But he does have a knack for putting butts in seats.

I mean, I admit that I can do this to a degree, but something has to grab me – the universe, the characters, the story, SOMETHING. I can enjoy even the middling Marvel or Star Wars movies, Avatar just had NO substance at all.

I did not like Avatar when I first saw it in the theater. I hate the 3D stuff and I thought the story was dumb, and not in a “turn your brain off and enjoy it” way.

Still, a lot of people really loved it. Like crazy amounts.

I’m curious to see if the bloom has left this rose.

Are they still using Papyrus?

I mostly liked the movie, except for some male actors who were very wooden or dumb caricatures. Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver were great though!

I enjoyed Stephen Lang. He reminded me of a buddy’s DnD character.

The only way I can see all these sequels succeeding is if it’s “Avatar: But With a Good Story This Time”. The original was a glorified tech demo that somehow managed to run almost three hours without producing a single line of memorable dialog.

Yeah, it was visually something, but as a sci fi story it was lacking. From a narrative and character perspective it was the quality of cheesy 50’s sci fi, but taking itself far too seriously.

I didn’t actively hate it, but have absolutely zero interest in ever watching it again.

Avatar was a better Dances With Wolves than either Dances With Wolves or The Last Samurai. Is that praise? I’m not sure.

It’s been 11 years, so it’s understandable that you guys don’t remember, but Avatar was fucking huge, and very well received when it came out.

I think I lasted about 45 minutes into the first one before I turned it off. That everything appeared to be made out of plastic (both visually and in terms of the acting) didn’t really help.

I understand in the abstract why a movie that made eleventybillion dollars is getting a bunch of sequels, but if what pulled people into the theater was the tech (and no one seems to care about it anymore, so I assume that’s the case) then this is going to end badly.

Yeah, maybe. But did anyone engage with it as a world, or with its characters, enough to want to see more of them? Since it obviously didn’t work for me or most of my friends, I could totally be blind to it. Maybe there are fans eager for more, Star Wars or MCU-style. But I tend to think (read: speculate wildly) that Avatar didn’t succeed (massively) because it had the qualities of a great franchise–it just had the qualities of a technically cutting-edge summer blockbuster.

I’m surprised at the chilly opinion of Avatar here. It pretty much follows (or rather was the precursor to) the Marvel movie template. Great visuals, simple plot lines, lots of fun, mass appeal. I expect the sequels to follow the same template and do great box office (depending on Coronavirus of course).

The Marvel movie template is not “Mighty Whitey”.

Iron Man came out in 2008. Avatar got released 2009.