James Cameron Teases Earth As A Battlefield In ‘Avatar 5’, Studio Execs Went Crazy For ‘Avatar 4’ Script

Last week, myself and a number of other critics had the chance to finally see Avatar: The Way of Water. I absolutely loved it, and tweeted my enthusiasm for the franchise’s return. But I also noted that it felt like the story should end with three movies rather than five as James Cameron planned. Considering Cameron has suggested a trilogy is possible, but has also teased chapters six and seven (!!!), it’s unclear how far Avatar will go until we start seeing some box office returns.

Assuming Cameron does take the story as far as he wants, he’s seriously hyping up sequels four and five. In an interview with Collider, he said studio execs were dropping F-bombs they were so hyped for Shane Salerno’s Avatar 4 script, and didn’t even give him any script notes…

I can’t tell you the details, but all I can say is that when I turned in the script for [‘The Way of Water’], the studio gave me three pages of notes,” Cameron said. “And when I turned in the script for 3, they gave me a page of notes, so I was getting better. When I turned in the script for 4, the studio executive, the creative executive over the films, wrote me an email that said, ‘Holy fuck.’ And I said, ‘Well, where are the notes?’ And she said, ‘Those are the notes.’ Because it kind of goes nuts in a good way, right?”

Speaking of “going nuts”, Cameron told Fandom that’s exactly what happens in Avatar 5. In this case, however, the action will be far removed from the planet Pandora, and will instead be on Earth. The Na’Vi taking the fight directly to humanity? Yes, please!

Cameron said, “I will say that in one of the upcoming films, not [‘Avatar 3’], by [‘Avatar 5’] you’ll see action on Earth…Because don’t we want to juxtapose this incredible world in its prime with Earth a couple of hundred years from now that is the result of us if we don’t change. You want to see that contrast, right?”

What Cameron is alluding to is that Earth is a barren, dying planet in the Avatar universe, wrecked by overpopulation, climate change, and the draining of resources. That’s why humanity is so desperate to claim Pandora, this wonderous place of natural beauty and endless supplies of resources. We’ve only glimped Earth briefly in 2009’s Avatar, but if all goes according to Cameron’s plan it’ll be a battlefield before the story is done.

Avatar: The Way of Water opens December 16th. Look for my review to drop tomorrow afternoon.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.