Director James Cameron has come forward in an interview to compare his upcoming Avatar sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water to Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings.
In the interview, the director said he wants to “tell a bigger story” and leave an impact like J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel series and Peter Jackson’s movies.
“What I said to the Fox regime at the time was, ‘I’ll do it, but we’ve got to play a larger game here. I don’t want to just do a movie and do a movie and do a movie. I want to tell a bigger story,” said Cameron.
“I said, ‘Imagine a series of novels like The Lord of the Rings existed, and we’re adapting them.’ Now, that was great in theory, but then I had to go create the frickin’ novels from which to adapt it.”
Similar to Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Cameron filmed the Avatar sequels back to back. After the release of The Way of Water, the third film is expected to debut in December 2024. The fourth and fifth films will follow every two years. Getting to that agreement was not easy for Cameron.
“I had to think long and hard whether I even wanted to make another Avatar film, because it was kind of ours to lose,” explained the director. “When you’ve done something that’s been that transcendent in terms of success, do you really want to go try and do that again? There’s a lot of pressure on it. I thought about it for a good two years before we finally made a deal.”
The first Avatar movie was praised for its detailed world-building – something Lord of the Rings is famously known for too. In the upcoming sequel, Cameron will expand the world even further by showing the different cultures and ecosystems present in Pandora.
First look photos of Kate Winslet and Sigourney Weaver, as well as the recently revealed photo of Sam Worthington’s Jake Sully stroking a whale-like creature, offer a glimpse of what Cameron is bringing to the table in The Way of Water. Of course, the first trailer is also a sneak peek into the incredible CGI viewers can look forward to.
Disney’s official synopsis for the long-awaited sequel reads:
“Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family, the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive and the tragedies they endure.”
Avatar: The Way of Water will be released exclusively in theatres on 16 December.