In a video message, the director of the two highest-grossing films of all time (Avatar and Titanic) praised the ensemble of actors who have been filming Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 since September 2017.
“Hi, James Cameron here and today I’m coming to you from the set of the Avatar sequels — and behind me you can see our performance-capture stage. Today we’re capturing some stunt scenes filming some stunt scenes but our principal cast are all wrapped: Sam [Worthington], Zoe [Saldana], Sigourney [Weaver], Stephen Lang, Kate Winslet.”
The Oscar-winning filmmaker added: “They’re done now but they gave us incredible performances. And I can’t tell you how proud I am of the work that they did on these films.”
Avatar 2 is due in theaters on December 18, 2020, and will be followed by Avatar 3 on December 17, 2021. Two additional sequels are planned after that if the first pair deliver the kind of box-office success that Fox and Cameron are expecting.
In the video message, Cameron then turned to a different project as he explained the ambition and artistry of Alita: Battle Angel , which reaches theaters in February.
Cameron fell in love with the namesake source material, the cyberpunk saga created by Yukito Kishiro in the 1990s, and flirted with making it into a movie in the mid-2000s but ultimately set it aside in favor of making the first Avatar.
In 2015, director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Spy Kids) came on board as director for Alita with Cameron producing (along with his longtime partner, Jon Landau). The film’s approach — a dreamy futuristic setting yet with photorealistic anime visuals — is being billed as a game-changer (not unlike Cameron’s Terminator 2 and Avatar) but that could be an elusive sell to moviegoers.
Which explains why Cameron was using his Avatar publicity and social media megaphone to tether the two franchises and boost the fledgling Alita.