For the rest of his career, James Cameron will be all Avatar all the time

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Pocahontas-in-Space narrative shortcomings aside, it was quite clear to anybody who had their eyeballs melted in their sockets by the incredibly detailed and fully realized world of Pandora that James Cameron’s Avatar was a labour of love. The acclaimed director has always said that he would be returning to the neon, warrior-hippy world, we just never realized that when he got there that he would never leave again.

Speaking to the NY Times, Cameron revealed that the only feature films that he’ll be making from now onward will be about the Na’Vi. How ironic then that this news has left me a bit blue.

“I’ve divided my time over the last 16 years over deep ocean exploration and filmmaking. I’ve made two movies in 16 years, and I’ve done eight expeditions. Last year I basically completely disbanded my production company’s development arm. So I’m not interested in developing anything. I’m in the Avatar business. Period. That’s it. I’m making Avatar, Avatar 2, Avatar 3, maybe Avatar 4, and I’m not going to produce other people’s movies for them. I’m not interested in taking scripts. And that all sounds I suppose a little bit restricted, but the point is I think within the Avatar landscape I can say everything I need to say that I think needs to be said, in terms of the state of the world and what I think we need to be doing about it. And doing it in an entertaining way. And anything I can’t say in that area, I want to say through documentaries, which I’m continuing.”

Well there goes my hopes of finally seeing that Battle Angel adaptation getting made. Cameron is an immensely talented filmmaker who, ever since Titanic, has the Hollywood clout to make pretty much any film a reality. There’s not a single studio that will turn him away, and even if they did, he could personally finance most projects just from the “loose change” found in between the pillows of his sofa.

With this pigeon-holing (or whatever passes for a pigeon on Pandora) of his talents, us fans would effectively have lost a prodigious world-builder in Cameron. I have no doubt that he would have heard and heeded the criticisms of Avatar and that he will be pulling out all the stops for the sequels, but I would still love to see him bring all his skills to bear on another non-documentary project from time to time. This is the imagination that gave us Terminator and The Abyss. That’s not something I want to be deprived of.

Speaking of the Avatar sequels, Cameron also gave an update on the progress of 2 and 3, which has been previously reported as being one single story arc and will be shot back-to-back:

“We’ve spent the last year and a half on software development and pipeline development. The virtual production methodology was extremely prototypical on the first film. As then, no one had ever done it before and we didn’t even know for two and half years into it and $100 million into it if it was going to work. So we just wanted to make our lives a whole lot easier so that we can spend a little more of our brainpower on creativity. It was a very, very uphill battle on the first film. So we’ve been mostly working on the tool set, the production pipeline, setting up the new stages in Los Angeles, setting up the new visual effects pipeline in New Zealand, that sort of thing. And, by the way, writing. We haven’t gotten to the design stage yet. That’ll be the next.”

Last Updated: May 7, 2012

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