James Cameron Will End Avatar Franchise After 3 Movies If The Way Of Water Doesn't Do Well
If The Way of Water doesn't do well, James Cameron will end the Avatar franchise after three movies instead of five.
James Cameron says the Avatar franchise could be "done in three months" if the sequel isn't a success.
Avatar: The Way of Water, the long overdue sequel to 2009's Avatar, will begin its global rollout next month and Cameron wonders how many people will "give a s***" about the movie.
Speaking to Total Film, the Oscar-feted filmmaker said: "The market could be telling us we’re done in three months, or we might be semi-done, meaning, 'Okay, let’s complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly,' if it’s just not profitable.
"We’re in a different world now than we were when I wrote this stuff, even.
"It’s the one-two punch — the pandemic and streaming. Or, conversely, maybe we’ll remind people what going to the theatre is all about. This film definitely does that. The question is, 'How many people give a s*** now?' "
Cameron, 68, hopes that the people still care for the franchise, and promises that The Way of Water, the first of the four "hideously expensive" sequels — with an expected budget of around US$1 billion (S$1.4bil) — will knock audiences off their seats, delivering "three hours of a pretty much insane experience".
"There are a couple of things that I took out [of The Way Of Water] that I want to shoehorn into movie three, hopefully," he said.
"These are hideously expensive movies. It was a sketchy business case before the pandemic to make a movie that cost this much.
"At this point, we just have to play it out to see what happens. But what I know right now is: we’re delivering three hours of a pretty much insane experience."
This isn't the first time Cameron has expressed concerns over whether The Way of Water will swim with audiences.
In September, Cameron told The New York Times, "I was a little concerned that I had stretched the tether too far, in our fast-paced, modern world, with Avatar 2 coming in 12 years later.
"Right until we dropped the teaser trailer, and we got 148 million views in 24 hours. There's that scarce seen but wondered at principle, which is, 'Wow, we haven't seen that in a long time, but I remember how cool it was back then.' Does that play in our favour? I don't know. I guess we're going to find out."
The original Avatar grossed US$2.9 billion worldwide (from its initial release as well as reissues) on a reported US$237 million budget. It still holds the record for being the highest-grossing movie of all time.
Avatar: The Way of Water opens in cinemas on Dec 15.— BANG SHOWBIZ
Photos: TPG News/Click Photos