James Cameron Prepared To End ‘Avatar’ Franchise If Sequel Underperforms

The sequel to Avatar, Avatar: The Way of Water is finally hitting theatres in December and director James Cameron will be paying close attention to how it performs.

Fans of the original Avatar waited thirteen years for its sequel and with plenty of changes since then, Cameron has prepared a much longer story to be told across three other sequels. However, these stories can only be told if fans remain invested in the franchise.

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“The market could be telling us we’re done in three months, or we might be semi-done, meaning: ‘OK, let’s complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly’, if it’s just not profitable,” Cameron told Total Film in an interview.

avatar: the way of water

“We’re in a different world now than we were when I wrote this stuff, even,” Cameron added. “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 shit now?”

Considering the recent Avatar re-release earned over US$15 million in the States and US$40 million worldwide, it appears many people are still interested in Cameron’s franchise. Even then, Cameron has previously shared that he may pass the franchise on to another director to make sequels four and five so that he can focus on other projects.

avatar: the way of water

“The Avatar films themselves are kind of all-consuming,” Cameron told Empire magazine. “I’ve got some other things I’m developing as well that are exciting. I think eventually over time — I don’t know if that’s after three or after four — I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over, so I can go do some other stuff that I’m also interested in. Or maybe not. I don’t know.”

Cameron added, “Movie 4 is a corker. It’s a motherf*****. I actually hope I get to make it. But it depends on market force. Three is in the can so it’s coming out regardless. I really hope that we get to make 4 and 5 because it’s one big story, ultimately.”

Avatar: The Way of Water opens in theatres on 16 December 2022.