‘Avatar’ Sequels Likely to Beat More ‘State of the World’ Messages Into the Ground


James Cameron talks Avatar sequels
Photo: 20th Century Fox

For me, if there was one major problem with James Cameron‘s Avatar it was how he beat us over the head with the Native American and environmental themes. Not that these things aren’t important, but there came a point where I have to assume most of us just wanted to yell at the screen, “We get it!”

Now, with Cameron preparing to dig into not just Avatar 2, which is expected to hit theaters in 2016, but Avatar 3 and Avatar 4, all at the same time, he seems ready to once again tackle the state of the world and human affairs… in fact, he plans on tackling those things specifically.

Speaking with Variety, Cameron said, “There’s nothing I need to say as an artist about the state of the world and human affairs that I can’t do through the lens of the Avatar universe. We’ve had a couple of years to think through the story arc of the next three films, and every day that goes by, I believe in the stories I’m telling more and more. We’re not coming out of the block fast to capitalize on the last film.”

Looking through Cameron’s features he’s never been a subtle storyteller. His films aren’t meant to be think pieces. If he has something to say, you damn well are going to know what that something is while he seeks to wow you with his impressive visuals, and they are impressive.

Knowing that, and knowing he plans on using his upcoming Avatar sequels to continue to speak on the “state of the world and human affairs” is that a cause for concern? I’d typically say that when a filmmaker goes about making a sequel or even a follow-up to their last film they could take notes from some of the complaints and concerns people had with their previous movies and attempt to avoid doing that in the future. Problem is, Avatar made over $2.7 billion at the worldwide box office. So if you say, “Um, Mr. Cameron, any chance we could cut down on the ‘message’ aspect of the first Avatar and just focus on the entertainment portion?” he might just light a wad of hundred dollar bills, throw it in your face and walk away.

I can only assume in the Avatar sequels this means we’re going to get a conversation about water pollution, I assume there will be a housing crisis on Pandora, banking fraud will be highly prevalent, religious conflict is almost sure to take place and the Pandoran equivalent to Twitter and Facebook is sure to play a role. I just hope to God I don’t have to hear the word “Unobtanium” again. It was all I could do not to continually laugh when I heard “Transformium” this summer.

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