For starters, Cameron says (with a refreshing lack of ego) that he has no intention of trying to open any of his Avatar sequels against future Star Wars films:
"My original plan was to release them a year apart, but we’re opening that up. If for no other reason than that I don’t want to land on the same date as one of the Star Wars sequels. That wouldn’t be fair to them. [Laughs] No, that’s just good business. I don’t want to go head-to-head with Star Wars. That would be stupid. And hopefully they won’t want to go head-to-head with us.”
"Haha, right, guys? You wouldn't want to go head-to-head with us, either, right? Guys?"
In the same interview, Cameron also discusses his plan for shooting Avatar's four sequels, a plan which sounds just as insanely complicated and stressful as you'd expect:
It’s not back-to-back. It’s really all one big production. It’s more the way you would shoot a miniseries. So we’ll be shooting across all (Avatar scripts) simultaneously. So Monday I might be doing a scene from Movie Four, and Tuesday I’m doing a scene from Movie One. … We’re working across, essentially, eight hours of story. It’s going to be a big challenge to keep it all fixed in our minds, exactly where we are, across that story arc at any given point. It’s going to be probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I’m sure the actors will be challenged by that as well. It’s like, ‘No, no, no, no, this person hasn’t died yet, so you’re still in this phase of your life.’ It’s a saga. It’s like doing all three Godfather films at the same time.”
Pre-emptively comparing the Avatar sequels to the Godfather trilogy? There's the Cameron we all know and love!
Look, I remain as ambivalent as ever about the concept of more Avatar movies, but I gotta admit: I have nothing but admiration for Cameron's ambition. This is a massive undertaking (the pressure he's putting on himself is, quite frankly, insane) both technically and creatively, and it's impossible not to respect the gumption involved in attempting it.
Head on over to Famous Monsters Of Filmland for more from their upcoming interview with Cameron, including a pretty nifty pull-quote about how he plans on shooting more real-world elements for the sequels ("If I could do the Alien Queen today with the techniques we used on Avatar, she’d be spectacular").
The full interview will arrive online at CaptainCo.com and in Famous Monsters' print issue, hitting newstands on June 7th. The Avatar sequels will hit theaters when James Cameron damn well says so.