This week's cover: James Cameron reveals plans for an 'Avatar' sequel

Before it hit theaters, Avatar, which has amassed $1.3 billion at the worldwide box office, seemed to many in Hollywood like a crazy gamble. But not only did director James Cameron always believe that the film would be a hit — he was even planning a sequel during production. “I’ve had a storyline in mind from the start — there are even scenes in Avatar that I kept in because they lead to the sequel,” Cameron says. “It just makes sense to think of it as a two or three film arc, in terms of the business plan. The CG plants and trees and creatures and the musculo-skeletal rigging of the main characters — that all takes an enormous amount of time to create. It’d be a waste not to use it again.” Sam Worthington is already signed to play Jake Sully again, and he e-mailed EW some plot suggestions for the sequel: “Jake should have abused his avatar and be fat and unfit and demand Neyteri to get him a beer.” Even actors whose characters got killed at the end of the movie are keen on a repeat performance. “You think those two arrows in my chest are going to stop me from coming back?” barks Stephen Lang, who plays the evil Colonel Miles Quaritch. “Nothing’s over so long as they’ve got my DNA.”

For more on Avatar, plus what’s next for the film’s cast members, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands January 15th.

Comments (169 total) Add your comment
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  • Samantha S

    I would love to see a sequel!

    • Kat

      Yipeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! 2 or 3 more AVATAR stories would rock! Please make them, Mr. Cameron—you don’t have to worry about the Box Office, hello. BTW, thanks EW for the cover. Beautiful.

      • Beth Tizon

        I’m an so there with you Kat! You can’t make us wait 12 more years for the sequel Mr. Cameron! Can’t wait to get EW now!

      • Amy

        Ditto! I 2nd your Yipeeeeeeeee, Kat!! EW, took you long enough to give us an Avatar cover. Can’t wait to check my mailbox.

    • UGH

      Can this be any later?

      • mishka

        LOL Well said!
        Way to be behind time, Entertwilight Weekly!

    • Ambient Lite

      I look forward to taking my grandchildren to Avatar 3.

      • Linda L

        LOL. Ambient, Crispy, Paige, and Ceballos. You guys crack me up. Thanks for the laughs.

      • paige

        we secretly work for EW Linda- the only problem is, EW doesnt know that and we dont get paid (even though i think we should)

      • Ceballos

        You don’t get paid, paige?!

        Um, neither do I. :)

      • paige

        we should strike!

      • Ambient Lite

        Linda L, you are sweet. :)
        I would accept editorial authority in lieu of pay from EW…

      • Ceballos

        Ambient-
        I actually wouldn’t – I would accept pay. ;)

        But then again, if you had editorial authority, I’d feel confident that you wouldn’t steer the ship into the rocks. Also, I wouldn’t have to write a word about R. Pattz – you’d have that covered. Works for me.

      • crispy

        Technically, I do get paid for all the time I spend on here. Just not by EW. If my employer ever sees my browsing history, I am canned!

      • Ambient Lite

        Well, yes – good point. Editorial authority, it is then!
        So I guess we all just sit here patiently and wait for our e-mails from EW with the offer…

      • Madd

        Like Crispy, I also basically get paid to spend all my time of EW during work. I also try to mention Arrested Development, Slankets, and Jon Hamm as much as possible, so I basically work here.

      • Ceballos

        “Arrested Development”, Slankets and Jon Hamm?

        So, Annie Barrett, I see you guy by “Madd” now.

      • paige

        Editorial Authority hmmm… Id try to talk about Friday Night Lights, Madonna, video games, arrested developent, modern family, Lost, and anything Marvel related… every single day

      • Ambient Lite

        I can cover Twilight (duh), 30 Rock (I’ll pass it to Madd during Hamm’s guest eps), Parks and Rec, The Office, Top Chef, and Big Love. Yup, I’d say we’re all set to run EW.

      • wrath1001

        Ambient…you’re awesome lol…ill take my grandchildren too. I’m 18 but ill prolly be dead b4 that movie comes out…so my grandchildren’ll be taking their children

      • Madd

        Yeah, let’s try to talk about the criminally underrated Parks and Rec as much as possible. I can also take over for Ken Tucker in trying desperately to save Better Off Ted.

    • wino

      love the ideal of a sequel!!! maybe now he can work a bit more on the storyline and dialogue so that it isnt so predictable? i say this as a fan who thinks avatar is one of the best movies of 09. (adore the actors, love the visuals, just needs a bit more work on the writing).

    • wrath1001

      seems a little to similar to Pocahontas for me…exact same story line with a few scientific twists…I bet you could find about 3 or 4 other movies with the exact same story line down to the tiniest details…THINK ABOUT IT…you suck man…I can’t believe you played everyone like this and I can’t believe everyone bought it…the only good movie you ever had was Titanic…and its the only good movie you’ll ever have. You have copied other movies…and you copied halo…get a life

      • Bethany

        Everything’s been done at least once, all movies are copied or piggybacked from others these days. I challenge you to come up with a totally original movie idea.

  • crispy

    Could someone pick me up off the ground?

    • Ceballos

      *waving smelling salt*

    • Ambient Lite

      I am truly happy for you. :)

      • crispy

        I see you, Entertainment Weekly.

      • Ambient Lite

        ha ha ha

    • paige

      oh crisp, all your dreams are coming true *barf*

  • Kevin

    There’s your cover, Avatards…you can now stop complaining all the time.

    • UGH

      I was hoping they would show what those Twilight dopes would look like if they were blue aliens on the cover. Mondo-overrated-movie-crossover-appeal!

    • Felicia

      No, they’re still complaining because it took SO long. Oh, the humanity! My favorite movie didn’t get a magazine cover when I wanted it to!

      • crispy

        Ok, I’ll take the bait. That’s not what the complaints are about. It’s because Entertainment Weekly missed the boat on this one while championing other movies (which I won’t mention because I’m so over that debate) that didn’t resonate as much in popular culture. They’ve also gotten into a habit of covering movies weeks after they came out. EW used to be the taste-makers. Now they seem to be trend followers.

      • Juneau

        EW may not have put Avatar on the cover, but there were many, MANY articles on the film before it was released. You may find it hard to believe, but not every EW reader measures pop culture value by blockbuster, Sci-fi movies and what makes the cover of an entertainment magazine.

      • paige

        I firmly believe that if its a blockbuster- it deserves a cover from EW- it is a weekly magazine anyway so theres no big loss.

      • Ambient Lite

        paige, as a peacekeeping effort, I’m going to ignore the fact that your statement completely supports New Moon coverage. I’m feeling generous today, and trying to back-burner my Twi-tasticness for a few months. heh

      • crispy

        Gotta disagree, Juneau. I read this site religiously, and there was barely a mention of Avatar before it came out. They thought it was gonna flop.

      • paige

        yea 1 cover is fine… a million covers and posts over 1 thing is overboard

    • Johnification

      Avatards…I like that! Let us Avatar-lovers claim it for our own! I am John, proud Avatard!

      • Kara

        Poor John. I don’t think you should be as excited for that nickname as you appear to be…sad…

      • Chris P

        No Kara. Your just sad.

      • Kara

        And you, Chris, appear to just be pathetic.

    • JL

      Kevin’s still waiting for his Paul Walker/Vin Diesel shirtless cover.

    • Celia

      FINALLY! I thought it would never happen. Avatar only had to earn 1.4 billion dollars before EW finally wised up.

  • harry

    yesssssssss!!!!

  • JLC

    I’m glad this generation has a species of sci-fi nerd it can call its own. Star Wars geeks were getting a bit long in the tooth.
    How long before EW has an interview with someone waiting in line for the Avatar sequel?

  • Kevin

    maybe. Not sure if I 100% want a sequel unless it can try and come close to the awe that the first one had.

  • Elizabeth

    Maybe in the next one we can quit making our servicemen villians? Just a thought….

    • crispy

      Argh. They weren’t the military. Go see the movie again, and this time pay attention to the dialogue.

      • Ceballos

        Pay attention to the dialogue?! But the movie is SO purty.
        Seriously though, I have to admit – I’ve referred to them as “military” when talking about this movie, even though they’re CLEARLY not. Then again, that has more to do with me being incredibly lazy and not very perceptive.

      • crispy

        In all fairness, the explanation of that was during that brief exposition at the very beginning of the movie. It sorta passed me by on first viewing. You’re just so busy absorbing the 3D experience.

      • Ceballos

        I still feel foolish when I make silly movie mistakes like that.

        To make up for this one I’m gonna go ahead and grab “The Abyss” when I go to the video store in the next few days. (My gf is out of town next week, so I’ll have nothing to do but geek out and watch as many movies on my “I’ve been meaning to check this out” list – I’m also hoping to grab “Hurt Locker” and “Moon.”)

      • Ambient Lite

        I’m actually a little confused about this too – they were military-trained, former military, yes?

      • crispy

        Hope you enjoy The Abyss, Ceballos. I’ll be curious to hear what you think. Hurt Locker and Moon are both on my current must-see list. In fact, I *borrowed* Moon from a friend on the internet a few weeks ago and just haven’t gotten around to watching it.

      • paige

        I have Hurt Locker coming in any day now- and all watch if i can pry the 360 controller off my hands

      • crispy

        What are you playing, Paige? I’m dying (DYYYYYYING!) to get my grubby hands on Mass Effect 2.

      • invaliduser

        moon and hurt locker are both excellent. apparently i was the only one who saw these films in the theater. check them out on DVD soon. Jeremey Renner and Duncan Jones (moons director, David Bowies son) are both going to be everywhere soon.

      • coco

        oh wow, all this time I thought they were military, but I guess I’m excused since I missed the first ten minutes of the movie. Thanks!

      • t3hdow

        Paige probably can’t stop playing Modern Warfare 2 if she’s anything like me. Seriously, that game is crack. The last time a game grabbed my attention this much is Starcraft and Pokemon Blue (yes, I’m not kidding).

      • paige

        i’m playing Bayonetta- then No More Heroes 2 comes out in a couple of weeks and then the mother of all games for me, BioShock 2 comes out on Feb 9th… Im taking a PTO just for it… sooo sad lol

      • paige

        i heard Mass Effect 2 was insanely addictive but i believe its also a turn-based RPG which i am allergic too… Modern Warfare 2 is pretty and all but Im sooo over FPS war games and their online heroin…

      • crispy

        Bioshock 2 is coming out in February? You’re kidding! I only play about 3 games a year (not enough time, not enough time), but Bioshock is prob the best game I have ever played.
        **runs off to Amazon to pre-order**

      • paige

        i agree… I get such swoony thoughts about that game its unnatural… definately one of the best games I have ever played. I pre-ordered it months ago at gamestop but now they have this limited edition coming out so i had to pre-order it. btw- a month after that, God of War 3 comes out ;-)… seriously- i am addicted to entertainment

      • t3hdow

        Bayonetta, eh? Seeing as I’m a Devil May Cry fan, it would be a crime to overlook it (since it’s created by some of the original DMC designers), but I still haven’t even opened Borderlands and Dragon Age from Christmas. I might make an exception for it, though…
        As for Bioshock 2, I just finished the first one last fall, and honestly, that was enough for me. The gameplay was cool at first, but later felt like a gimmicky, watered down version of Half-Life (no pun intended). That, and I don’t see where the narrative can go after how the first game ended. At best, I’ll wait until the summer.

      • paige

        I haaaaaaaated Devil May Cry- and when i first saw bayonetta a year ago, i thought it was very reminiscent… and it is- but I like the gimmick enough to keep playing- its not an excellent game but its alot of fun. Bioshock DID “borrow” alot from Half-Life but Ill take Bioshock any day. I had no trouble getting sucked into the overall production design of it all and i’m a sucker for a story about dystopian (or failed utopian) societies… oh yea, i f—kin love magic lol

    • GoodWitchPA

      Elizabeth – they were mercenaries. They just wore the cam ’cause they want to like the real thing. They aren’t.

      • crispy

        Spot on. It was modeled after Blackwater. And they worked for a greedy corporation, which is one of James Cameron’s trademarks (see also Weyland-Yutani from the Alien series).

      • Ambient Lite

        Oh never mind my above comment, this clears it up. I’m having trouble reading ahead this week.
        This is kinda what I thought they were, though I assumed they did have formal military training, then were recruited for this.

    • Al

      Ha! Making Blackwater look good? That will NOT be easy. They were mercenaries – learn to pay attention. We all love our troops.

    • Kelsey

      Not this idiocy again.
      The people in the movie were MERCENARIES. They were there for PROFIT. They were not ACTIVE SERVICE MEMBERS. They were representing a CORPORATION, not a GOVERNMENT. If you think there’s no difference, then you must think that Blackwater and the U.S. Army are one and the same.
      My cousin is a Marine on active duty. This film DID NOT insult Marines…the HERO was a Marine!

    • MultiPass

      They are a commentary on Blackwater, Elizabeth, NOT real servicemen. Blackwater is made of people just like this. And probably a LOT worse actually.

    • lorry

      No mr Cameron hates the US. Look at the film, look at the base: a pentagon. the image behind Quaritch: the flag. get real

  • Maserda

    he e-mailed EW some plot suggestions for the sequel: “Jake should have abused his avatar and be fat ad unfit and demand Neyteri to get him a beer.”

    LOL!

    • WayBeyondSoccerMom

      Maybe in Avatar 2, James Cameron won’t rip off the plot of Disney’s version of “Pocohontas”:

      http://twitpic.com/xfgkm

      • WayBeyondSoccerMom

        Err, Pocahontas.

      • Kelsey

        I must have missed the part of Pocahontas when Pocahontas and John Smith bonded with their head tentacles. Or when John Smith tamed a dragon. Or when…

      • Michael

        The story struck me as a cross between Enron (financial greed) and the catastrophic result of the European’s invasion of the Indian Nation; (mostly) peaceful people living close to Mother Earth being invaded and conquered by a techno superior group. Sad, that …

      • Madd

        Maybe it was Pocahontas with Smurfs, but Pocahontas is one of my favorite Disney movies and I love Smurfs.

  • PJ

    Hopefully he’ll have someone else write the script, so the story will be original and the dialogue less painful. I spent much of Avatar laughing at parts that were supposed to be dramatic.

    • Someone

      Come on, the dialogue wasn’t bad.

      • t3hdow

        Not overall, but every now and then, you wish a script writer went over the dialogue, because a few one-liners were pretty cringe worthy.
        It didn’t destroy the movie, but it was an annoying distraction at times.

    • Ambient Lite

      I’m glad my expectations of movies are lower than yours, PJ. I probably enjoy movies more than you do, as I don’t feel compelled to pick them apart while I’m watching them.
      Ah, ignorance IS bliss.

      • PJ

        Grow thicker skin, sweetie. It’s okay if people don’t like a movie that you did. Get over yourself.

      • Ambient Lite

        What are you so pissy about? I’m being serious! Totally fine you didn’t like it, different folks for different strokes, you’re probably a film snob – and that’s okay.

    • Celia

      You’re just being dramatic. The dialogue was not laughable. It wasn’t memorable, but it was tolerable and most importantly it didn’t disrupt the movie experience.

  • Mells

    Fantastic news – can’t wait! Its too bad they got rid of Jake Sully’s actual body though cuz Sam Worthington is super hot!

    • UGH

      I’m sure his Austrailian accent will slip in there a time or two again.

    • MultiPass

      AGREE 100%. A real shame. he is dam hot.

    • Celia

      He’s my new favorite crush, but at least we can look at him in Clash of Titans that comes out later this year.

  • a. weiss

    To quote Jake, “Outstanding”!

  • TJ

    Best film of the year…..can’t wait for the second and third installments.

    • Johnnip

      Great news,finaly they did a cover.cant wait for the sequel.

  • Frank Anderson

    An Avatar cover! And it only took what, four weeks and 400 million dollars for EW to give this movie a cover story?

    Oh well. At least the cover image looks good- unlike the last few issues that had absolutely boring covers.

    EW really needs to get back on the ball and make their covers more timely than four weeks after the cover subject has become big!

    Fingers crossed for an informative and beefy issue!

    • Kevin

      You do realize that the reason that they haven’t had an Avatar cover yet is because it’s an animated movie, right? They want to put STARS on the cover, not creepy blue cartoon characters. Honestly, I’m surprised Denzel isn’t on the cover this week instead of Dances with Smurfs.

      • crispy

        I think you’re at the wrong site. US Weekly is over there.

      • JL

        dances with smurfs. Kevin you are so clever.

      • invaliduser

        The reason they didn’t have an avatar cover? They thought it was going to bomb too. They even had an article questioning it’s “soft” opening, and it’s questionable storyline. EW is continually pushing other movies (their agenda is pretty transparent). Much like their Sandra Bullock cover four weeks after the Blindside premiered.

    • charissa

      Hahaha QFT. Well better late than never I guess! Avatar deserves to have a cover and I’m happy they finally gave it one.

  • Todd

    I had a feeling there would be. And here’s what I like most about it- Unlike many of the other franchise’s like Harry Potter,Lord of the Rings,Narnia,Twilight- this is written directly for the screen, so there’s no expectation beyond living up to the first movie. No book(s)to interpret or campare it to. I just hope the story is as good.

    • paige

      you mean like Star Wars?

      • pinoyboy

        well actually there was a book for star wars but it was really old

    • Celia

      And also Pirates of the Caribbean…I mean I know it’s based off a ride, but they made up that whole story.

  • Someone

    About freakin’ time!

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