During the Comic-Con panel celebrating the 30th anniversary of Aliens, director James Cameron took a moment to talk about his favorite subject: Avatar sequels. Cameron has ostensibly been working on Avatar sequels ever since the first movie came out in 2009, and apparently he’s still adamant that they’re actually going to happen. He explained that the first sequel somehow ballooned into two movies, necessitating an entire sequel trilogy. Now, the plan is to “orchestrate production” so that a new Avatar comes out every year, but he doesn’t know if that’ll be possible. (Considering that it’s been seven years since the last one, the odds of that happening aren’t especially good.)
So we may be getting a total of four Avatar movies, but what we won’t be getting is an Avatar TV show. He says the special effects are simply too expensive, with one minute of close-up on a Na’vi costing more than a million dollars, so the only way it would work is if they made it an animated series. He references the Clone Wars cartoon as a good way of making that work, but he doesn’t seem very interested in that approach—possibly because he’s a bit of a Star Wars snob.
However, Cameron does say that he has toyed around with the idea of an Avatar “radio drama” that could fill in some details of its universe. That may sound ridiculous, but it’s really not any more ridiculous than the idea of people paying to see four more sequels to Avatar.