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James Cameron is on a mission to prove that Avatar "wasn't just some big fluke" and you better believe he's working that much harder for the sequel to be a success. While the 2009 film was a huge blockbuster and grossed $2.9 billion, the movie process was strenuous.
Notably, Cameron is to thank (or blame) for the rise of the 3-D blockbusters. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Cameron explains the sequel is just as challenging as the first film, and he hopes the sequels are just as successful as the first franchise installment.
Six years later, Cameron is planning four installments for the franchise telling EW, "I’m in the process of doing another pass through all three scripts right now. Just refining. That’s in parallel with the design process. The design process is very mature at this point. We’ve been designing for about a year and a half. All the characters, settings and creatures are all pretty much [set]."
Even though Avatar received nine Oscar nominations, it was a grueling process with problems like production delays, running over budget and studio execs wanting to drop out. Its distributor, 20th Century Fox, almost backed out. Cameron told EW, "We've got to deliver. I've created a nice rod for my own back, so they say."
And while this isn't Cameron's first time at the rodeo, the process hasn't been any less challenging. Cameron told EW, "Obviously, expectations are going to be very high on these films, especially on Avatar 2, to make sure it wasn’t just some big fluke the first time."
Avatar 2 is set to hit theaters in 2017, starring Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington, and Stephen Lang. Avatar 3 is scheduled to release in 2018 with Avatar 4 set in 2019.