More ‘Avatar’ Coming in August, Plus Sequel Will Take to the Waters of Pandora

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A scene from Avatar
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Avatar hits DVD and Blu-ray this Thursday, April 22, and James Cameron is still promoting the film as The Los Angeles Times has yet another interview with the director talking about an upcoming theatrical re-release as well as what we can expect from the now inevitable sequel.

First off, this Thursday’s DVD and Blu-ray release will be a single-disc, featureless release. It’s the 2D movie and nothing else. In November Fox is expected to release the “Ultimate Edition” which will include features and what I now expect will be an additional six minutes as that is what Cameron is working on for the August re-release.

“We’re 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.” He continued, “So we’re going to wait until there’s 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.”

As far as 3D films go in that time frame, August has Step Up 3D (8/6) and Piranha 3D (8/27), September holds Resident Evil: Afterlife (9/10) and Zack Snyder’s animated Legend of the Guardians (9/24) and in October there is Jackass 3D (10/15) and Saw VII (10/22). Not sure where Fox is looking to fit the film in, but I would suspect IMAX is the ultimate goal.

As far as the sequel goes, Cameron says the response to the film “makes certain projects [he] liked as potential films seem trivial by comparison” and “makes the idea of making another Avatar film more attractive.” The goal with the sequel is to cut costs, and the time spent making it, by 25% and he doesn’t sound like he’s stopping at two films. “We created a broad canvas for the environment of film. That’s 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.”

The second film will explore a new environment that is obviously close to Cameron’s heart, the ocean. More specifically, the oceans of Pandora. We should still expect more of the rain forests from the first film, but I guess we should expect to get wet in Avatar 2, which by the sound of it, may not be until 2013 or 2014.

You can read the complete interview right here, and the only thing I am now curious about is whether or not Cameron’s environmental message may not become a bit overbearing by the second part. Audiences have a tendency to forgive certain things the first time around, but if Cameron’s environmental message gets a bit too preachy in the sequel will that turn folks off? I know the likes of Matt Drudge and Andrew Breitbart won’t be enthused, but what about folks simply showing up for more other-worldly sci-fi?

Read the complete article and tell me what you think, because Cameron certainly has his goals.