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James Cameron Considers Stepping Away from ‘Avatar’

It’s safe to say that making an Avatar movie is hard work; whether Avatar actors are holding their breath for seven minutes underwater or playing characters decades younger than them, the team behind the movies has a lot on its plate. Director James Cameron, the man behind the entire Pandora world and Avatar franchise, recently admitted that making the movies might be too much for him soon.

The Avatar sequel has already taken over a decade to make it to theaters, even though the first movie before it was a resounding success and broke records. The animation used in these films (CGI used in coordination with motion capture, not to mention lots of underwater sequences for this new film Avatar: The Way of Water) and the detail that Cameron has put into the entire fictional world of Pandora means that these movies take a long time — perhaps too long.

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Sigourney Weaver is playing a second role in the world of ‘Avatar’ and Pandora: Kiri, the teenage adopted daughter of Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (played by Zoe Saldana). Credit: Empire magazine

“The Avatar films themselves are kind of all-consuming,” James Cameron told Empire in an exclusive interview.  “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.”

Many people associate James Cameron with the franchise and the world of Pandora (not to mention the Flight of Passage Disney ride in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, in which Guests can virtually ride a banshee from Pandora like a Na’vi would), so to hear that the groundbreaking director might not take up the helm for the fourth and fifth movies (film number three is already “in the can”, according to him) will be a disappointing surprise for many of his admirers.

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Kate Winslet plays Ronal in ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’.

James Cameron himself sounded reluctant to step away, emphasizing how personally important these films are to him. “Everything I need to say about family, about sustainability, about climate, about the natural world, the themes that are important to me in real life and in my cinematic life, I can say on this canvas,” he said. However, as it turns out, the Avatar director might not have to decide whether or not he’ll direct the next two movies in Pandora — because the fourth and fifth movie might not even happen!

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Sam Worthington returns as Jake Sully in Avatar 2. Image Credits: 20th Century Fox

Would you rather see more Avatar films even if James Cameron’s vision is no longer involved behind the scenes, or would you stop watching them once he was no longer the one making them?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!