It was the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey this Wednesday in Wellington, and James Cameron was spotted on the red carpet.
After being quizzed about the development of the highly-anticipated Avatar sequels, he revealed that he intends to have the scripts finished in February, and to start shooting in New Zealand at the end of 2013.
“I want to get these scripts nailed down,” the director said. “I don’t want to be writing the movie in post-production. We kind of did that on the first picture, I ended up cutting out a lot of scenes and so on, and I don’t want to do that again.”
Avatar was released in 2009 and became the highest grossing movie of all time, after Titanic, also directed by Cameron. It utilised Cameron’s own development of motion capture and 3D cameras to create an almost totally motion-captured film. Mo-cap is something that is being used increasingly in film and games, from shooting Gollum’s scenes in The Lord of the Rings to character animations in L.A. Noire and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.
Despite Avatar‘s massive profits and its six Academy Award nominations (with three wins), a lot of criticism was levelled at its story. Its message was seen as preachy, with irritatingly blatant anti-war, environmentalist morals. The characters were wooden and thinly drawn, but the visuals were so captivating many people looked past that. On closer inspection, however, once the magic of the unique visuals had worn off, the script did not stand up to much.
I think Avatar was more of a technology demo than anything else. After $300 million and several years of development, Avatar proved that Cameron could accomplish what he had in mind. Now he has the technology, he plans to make two more Avatar films, and I am hoping that he can focus more on the plot and the script. With the team and the equipment already in place, it should not take as long to produce them (in theory). This allows him time to pay some much-needed attention to what it is that actually makes a good film.
Are you looking forward to more Avatar films? Let us know in the comments!