I famously predicted that there would be no sequel to Batman Begins. But I was right about no sequel to Superman Returns! What I’m trying to say is that nobody is perfect and that foretelling the future is a rough business.
With that out of the way, I doubt James Cameron directs an Avatar sequel. He has sequelized one of his own movies, and that came on the heels of a major bomb with The Abyss. I suspect that had The Abyss been a hit we would have never seen T2. Add to that the way Cameron works – he throws himself completely into a movie like Avatar, living in that world for a decade – which lends itself to a serious case of if not burn out at least the desire to take a break, and I’m willing to bet that he never makes a sequel to Avatar.
Now, someone else might. Which is important because Ain’t It Cool is running a scoop originating at an Avatar screening Q&A where, after some hemming and hawing, Cameron did say there will be a sequel to Avatar. ‘Yes, there’ll be another,’ he said. But he didn’t say he was directing it.
I just can’t imagine that Avatar Two holds much interest for Cameron. My read on the guy, bolstered after seeing Avatar, is that it’s about the tech for him – that’s the challenge. And he beat the challenge with this movie. While the tech exists to tell more stories in that world, I’m betting that Cameron is looking to meet the next tech challenge, whatever he finds that to be. Because, let’s face it – by the time Avatar Two comes out there’s going to be nothing remotely special about 3D or really well captured facial movements on CG characters. The world moves fast, and Cameron isn’t going to be interested in redoing what he’s already done.
So he may hire someone to direct Avatar Two and maybe Three, but I doubt he’ll be the guy helming them. This, of course, will only fuel the ludicrous Star Wars comparisons. But you know what wouldn’t surprise me? Cameron never making another narrative movie and instead turning his focus on something like space tourism or another branch of the sciences.