Saturday, January 30, 2010

Avatar 2 Spoilers: There's More Coming

You just saw Avatar - now read the spoilers for the sequel.James Cameron told Entertainment Weekly, “If we announce Avatar 2, we made money. If we didn’t make money, we’re a bunch of dumb f—s."

With a domestic total of over $230 million (and rising), Avatar is on its way to becoming one of the most successful blockbuster films of all time.

So can the sequel's greenlight (or should I say, bluelight...) be that far off?

James Cameron knew from the get-go he had a franchise on his hands, so we decided to get a jump on all the facts, rumors, and bogus info for the inevitable Avatar 2. Take that smurfs!


* Cameron has a "trilogy-scaled arc" for Jake and Princess Neytiri. (MTV)

* With all the technology developed and in place, don't expect to wait ten years for Avatar 2 to roll around. (LA Times)


* Cameron says Avatar 2 could explore the other moons surrouding Pandora's planet Polyphemus or other parts of the Alpha Centuri A solar system. (Marketsaw)

* Stephen Lang told us we shouldn't count him out for an Avatar sequel: "Listen, the rules are different on Pandora. I can't say one way or another, but if you remember I say, 'nothing's over as long as I'm breathing.' Well my mantra now is, 'nothing's over as long as I got DNA.' (UGO)

* Producer Jon Landau has hinted that we only touched the surface of Pandora and have yet to explore its interior. (Slashfilm)

* James Cameron may go straight into an Avatar sequel before his proposed Battle Angel film.

It may be years away, but make sure to check back for the latest in Avatar sequel news!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Is Avatar 2 Gearing Up For Pre-Production?

As James Cameron’s Avatar overtakes Titanic to become the biggest box office success of all time, winning Golden Globes and getting ready for a possible Oscar sweep, rumor has it that pre-production might be gearing up on a sequel to his 3D sci-fi epic. I have received word, from a source who has provided /Film with some good tips in the past, that technical crew members have already begun to be hired for Avatar 2.

According to the source, some behind the scenes technical crew have signed on for three to five year contracts, just in case it runs long. While I’m unable to confirm this report with a second source, this bit shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as Cameron has always said that he hopes to create an Avatar trilogy. And with the box office receipts and awards, you can be sure that Fox is pushing for a sequel. But will this really be Cameron’s next film?

'Avatar' Officially the Highest Grossing Movie Ever, Story for the Sequel Discussed

The James Cameron's sci-fi has gained about $16 million more than the $1.843 billion earned by 'Titanic' in 1997, replacing the drama as the highest worldwide grosser.Just as it has been predicted, "Avatar" managed to break "Titanic" record as the highest worldwide grosser. On Tuesday, January 26, 20th Century Fox has reported that the big-budget sci-fi has pulled in $1.859 billion in worldwide revenue. The number passed the $1.843 billion gained by 1997 "Titanic".

Insiders from News Corp, which owns 20th Century Fox, believe "Avatar" worldwide revenue will reach $2 billion. By next weekend or next midweek, the Sam Worthington-starring movie which now has earned $555 million from ticket sales in North America is also expected to surpass the domestic record of $600.8 million set by the Kate Winslet-starring drama.

In another "Avatar" news, Cameron recently spoke to channel E! at the Producers Guild of America Awards about the story for the sequel. "We just have to come up with a great story, which we haven't done yet. I have a rough story," the filmmaker teased. "But you need to make a script, so that might take some time. Don't start going to buy your tickets."

"Avatar" follows former marine Jake Sully who embarks on a journey to distant moon Pandora to join Avatar program and later leads a heroic battle to save a civilization. The flick has been named Best Motion Picture at the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards and aided its director James Cameron to land Best Director gong at the same event.

Monday, January 25, 2010

'Avatar’ to Become Biggest Selling Movie

“Avatar” was close to replacing “Titanic” as the biggest movie of all time after it logged a sixth consecutive weekend as the top choice of moviegoers worldwide, distributor 20th Century Fox said on Sunday.

The total for James Cameron’s sci-fi spectacular rose to $1.841 billion, just shy of the seemingly insurmountable $1.843 billion racked up by the director’s “Titanic” in 1997-1998.

Already “Avatar” claimed the all-time international total with sales to date of $1.288 billion, eclipsing the $1.242 billion haul of “Titanic.”

In North America, it may have to wait another two weeks to sail past the $601 million total of “Titanic,” the News Corp -owned studio said. Moviegoers in North America and Canada have chipped in $552.8 million, enough to replace 2008’s “The Dark Knight” ($533 million) as the second-biggest movie of all time.

Data are not adjusted for inflation, and “Avatar” ticket sales got an additional boost from premium pricing for 3-D screenings. Imax Corp said its big-screen engagements have sold a record $134 million worth of tickets worldwide.

The biggest movie of all time in North America – adjusted for inflation – is 1939’s “Gone with the Wind,” with sales of almost $1.5 billion, according to tracking firm Box Office Mojo. “Avatar” ranks at No. 26 by that measure.

During the latest weekend, “Avatar” earned $36 million in North America and $107 million internationally, far outpacing other offerings.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sigourney Weaver Talks 'Avatar' Sequel At The Golden Globes

'Anything can happen,' actress says on the red carpet.

Whenever James Cameron books a second trip to Pandora, he just might have to reserve a seat for star Sigourney Weaver. (Beware: Spoilers coming!) That possibility certainly comes as a surprise, because Weaver's character dies toward the end of the first film.

But as the actress strongly hinted to MTV News on the red carpet at the Golden Globes on Sunday night (January 22), she could return for a sequel.

"I really can't say anything, but it's science fiction," she said. "Anything can happen."

In the film, Weaver plays Dr. Grace Augustine, a scientist living on the alien moon of Pandora and interacting with the Na'vi population through the use of her big blue avatar. As relations between the human colonizers and the natives collapse and Augustine and her cohorts decide to protect the Na'vi, she is injured during a gun battle. Grievously wounded, Grace is taken to a holy Na'vi site where a sort of global neural network exists that connects creatures and plant life together. There her mind is essentially uploaded to this naturally occurring supercomputer, while her body is left to expire.

And according to the tight-lipped Weaver, we may not have seen the last of Grace. "I'm not allowed to say anything," she repeated. "But if you look at the footage, I go somewhere, right?"

So when will a sequel actually happen? With a fifth straight weekend for "Avatar" at the top of the box office and the increasingly likely chance that the movie will knock "Titanic" off its perch as the all-time box-office champ, the pressure is on Cameron to ramp up work on a second franchise film rather than take on a unrelated project. Will he end up diving right back into his "Avatar" world?

"I think it's what he wants to do," Weaver said. "He was hoping that we would do well enough so that, now that the world is created, he could have more fun with it. We have such a great ensemble and we love working together. So I hope he continues with it."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

'Avatar' Producer Says Sequel Could Be James Cameron's Next Project

'It's going to be hard to walk away from this,' Jon Landau tells MTV News of film's runaway success.

In early December, James Cameron hinted that he might pursue a smaller project following the release of "Avatar," a film the director had been working on in one form or another since the mid-'90s. Then his CGI behemoth actually hit theaters, reeling in $77 million during opening weekend, on its way to $1.6 billion in worldwide box-office receipts and counting.

With the #1 all-time box-office spot now in sight, will Cameron skip that smaller film — possibly "The Dive," the true and tragic story of two free divers who fall in love — in favor of kick-starting work on an "Avatar" sequel? His longtime producing partner Jon Landau hinted to MTV News that a speedy return to the blockbuster franchise is likely.

"I think it's going to be hard to walk away from this," he explained when asked if a sequel would be Cameron's next project. "I think that might be a good bet."

He hastened to add a note of caution, however, saying, "In Hollywood, anything can happen."

To which we might add that when a movie stays in the top box-office slot for five straight weeks, what happens in Hollywood is the directive to pump out more, more, more of that movie as quickly as possible. So how soon can a sequel happen? Landau said Cameron does have strong ideas of where to take the story.

"I think Jim definitely had a couple of different storylines, and it's just honing in on which one he wants to focus in on," he said. "He knows the cast he wants to bring back, he knows how to address it. I'm very excited about it."

Now all Cameron has to do is start writing. "I have a trilogy-scaled arc of story right now, but I haven't really put any serious work into writing a script," he told us last year.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

'Avatar' Won the Golden Globe for the Best Film

Sci-fi epic "Avatar" was the winner of the best motion picture (drama) at the 63rd Golden Globe awards Sunday.

"Avatar" beat other nomiees "Up in the Air", "The Hurt Locker", "Inglourious Basterds" and "Precious". Director James Cameron also won the best director award.

"A very big thank you. Thank you for believing in blue people I also want to thank the fabulous crew that made this film possible," said producer Jon Landau.

The film that has till now grossed over $1.3 billion at the international box office, stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez and Stephen Lang.

The award was given by three time Golden Globe winner actress Julia Roberts.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

James Cameron talks Avatar 2, Interviewed with Zoe Saldana

The worldwide gross for James Cameron’s Avatar currently stands at $1.4 billion, which means it is just $400+ million away from reaching Titanic’s record. Will it make it? We’ll have to wait and see. Although whatever it’s final gross there will almost certainly be an Avatar 2, as Cameron kinda confirmed last week. In a recent interview with EW Cameron spoke briefly about the sequel, and said that they even put a few scenes in the film to set up a sequel:

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 Neytiri to get him a beer.”

In related news The Wrap got the chance to interview Cameron and Zoe Saldana (Neytiri) after a recent screening. I love this interview mainly because the interviewer just lets them talk, and as a result we have 10 minutes of the duo talking about Zoe’s casting, behind the scenes antics and James Cameron bleeding after a camera hit him in the face whilst filming.

And finally here’s a ‘making of’ video which I hadn’t seen before (even though it’s been online for a few weeks). It’s still interesting to watch even if you have already seen it, and even more so after watching the above interview.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

James Cameron Talks 'Avatar' Sequel Plans

Director says films won't take nearly as long to make now that they have CG technology figured out.

"Aliens." "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." James Cameron knows how to make a sequel, revisiting fully created fictional worlds, taking what's already established and trying to outflank what came before. That's been the director's plan since embarking on his technology-revolutionizing quest to being "Avatar" to the big screen, and with the film's mammoth first weekend behind it, an alien love story sequel we almost certainly shall get. (If you haven't seen the film already, now would be a good time to stop reading, as spoilers abound below).

In a pre-opening discussion with MTV News, Cameron spoke at length about his plans for his burgeoning sci-fi franchise and where the story will pick up following the first film's game-changer of an ending: Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) successfully and permanently transfers his consciousness to his big blue Na'vi avatar after falling in love with Princess Neytiri (Zoe Saldana).

Cameron made clear that the next film won't be a prequel, recounting previous backstory, but will begin after the events of the initial movie. "We'll follow Jake and Neytiri," he confirmed.

In fact, Cameron intends to follow the couple for another two films. "I have a trilogy-scaled arc of story right now, but I haven't really put any serious work into writing a script," he said.

The next two films, however, won't necessitate the four years of production time that "Avatar" took to perfect its motion-capture technology and computer-generated environments and beings. "Part of what we set out to do is create a world and create these characters," Cameron said. "From the time we capture and finish the capture, it's literally nine to 10 months to get the CG characters working, to get their facial musculature working. ... So now we have Jake, we have Neytiri. Sam can step right back into it, the characters will fit them like a glove, and we'll just go on. So a lot of the start-up torque that had to be done for one movie really makes more sense if you play it out across several films."

So where will the challenge be for a director who so famously craves one, from the intensity of shooting underwater for months for 1989's "The Abyss" to the mega-budgeted, initially ridiculed "Titanic" in 1997?

"My next goal is to refine the technique, make it easier so it doesn't take as long," Cameron said. "We were doing a lot of pioneering work on 'Avatar.' It wouldn't have taken as long if we already knew exactly how to do it."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Avatar Sequel Confirmed By James Cameron

Shortly before "Avatar" came out, director James Cameron told MTV that he has a larger story in mind for the movie's universe. "We'll follow Jake and Neytiri," he said. "I have a trilogy-scaled arc of story right now, but I haven't really put any serious work into writing a script."

At that point, there was nothing official to announce. People knew the movie was going to make money -- this is James Cameron we're talking about -- but no one could know just what a monumental success "Avatar" would become. Now that we know? Cameron's much more open to discussing what's next.

At a Q&A with Cameron held in Los Angeles earlier this week, Ain't It Cool News reported that the director said, "Yes, there'll be another." Four simple words, and we have confirmation that a sequel will happen. Not that anyone really doubted it I think, given the amount of money spent developing the technology and the time required to transform stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana into Na'vi.

Now that there's confirmation, we can really get to the nitty-gritty of thinking about what's next. A few weeks ago, MTV contributor Josh Wigler considered the possibility of future stories in the "Avatar" universe moving away from Pandora and onto another of the planet Polyphemus's orbiting moons. A companion novel released alongside the movie, "Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide," indicates that there are two moons orbiting the gas-giant with nitrogen-oxygen atmospheres (a la Earth).

That said, I would still expect Pandora to factor heavily into the next movie. As we all saw in "Avatar," there are a variety of distinctly different Na'vi tribes that call the planet their home. And with the first movie focused as it was on the tribe built up around the Hometree, we really never got a sense of how intra-species politics work between the different tribes.

I think it's likely that the next movie will delve deeper into the Na'vi people and the differences between them. They are painted in very broad strokes in "Avatar," a subjugated race, outclassed and outgunned by human colonists. With the RDA out of the picture for the time being, we should come to recognize the Na'vi less as a singular group and more as a varied species, with the same sorts of subdivisions and class difference that define the human race.

One scenario I could picture for the sequel would focus squarely on internal strife among the Na'vi. Presuming that Cameron has plans for a cliffhanger-conclusion in the second and third entries in his planned trilogy, the entirely of the second movie could set up a Pandora world war of sorts, only to have human aggressors show up at the very end, while the indigenous population is at odds. This would create a nice bridge into the third film, in which the Na'vi would be forced to band together once again.

There's also Unobtainium, the rare mineral that brought humans to Pandora in the first place. It isn't discussed a great deal in the movie, but the "Activist Survival Guide" notes that humans use it for interstellar/deep space travel. In another scenario, the RDA could conceivably return to the Na'vi with an outstretched hand, as Earth's supplies of the valuable mineral start to dwindle.

And now that Jake and Neytiri are both properly coupled Na'vi, a damsel-in-distress storyline -- or perhaps a genre-twisting gentleman-in-distress? -- seems inevitable. One of the two will be captured or in some way taken out of the picture by malevolent forces, requiring the other to embark on a desperate quest to save him/her. A more personal, Na'vi-centric story would be a refreshing change after the sweeping epic that is "Avatar."

These are just a few ideas; I'm sure whatever Cameron's cooking up, it's far more detailed and filled with otherworldly wonders that we've yet to even see. But now that a sequel is confirmed to be coming, the speculation can begin.