“I think eventually over time — I don’t know if that’s after three or after four — I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over, so I can go do some other stuff that I’m also interested in.”

As you may know, there are literally thousands of Avatar sequels in the works (well — at least four), and, understandably, director James Cameron might want to do something else with his life at some point and says he's considering passing the baton to another director.

Or, you know, maybe not.

While the long-awaited Avatar: The Way of Water will finally make a splash in theaters this December and the third sequel is already "in the can" with a 2024 release date, production has yet to begin on the fourth and fifth.

Ronal in 20th Century Studios' AVATAR 2. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Ronal (Kate Winslet) in 'Avatar: The Way of Water'
| Credit: 20th Century Studios

"The Avatar films themselves are kind of all-consuming," Cameron told Empire. "I've got some other things I'm developing as well that are exciting. I think eventually over time — I don't know if that's after three or after four — I'll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over, so I can go do some other stuff that I'm also interested in. Or maybe not. I don't know."

Sure, he may sound ambivalent about his future with the franchise, but Cameron is actually very excited about it as the films allow him to say everything he needs to say "about family, about sustainability, about climate, about the natural world." For that reason he really hopes he gets to make at least one of the final two films himself.

Na'vi enjoy the beachfront views of Pandora in 'Avatar 2.'
| Credit: 20th Century Studios

"Movie four is a corker. It's a motherf---er. I actually hope I get to make it," the Oscar-winner said. "But it depends on market forces. Three is in the can so it's coming out regardless. I really hope that we get to make four and five because it's one big story, ultimately."

Avatar: The Way of Water picks up more than a decade after the events of 2009's Avatar, which became the highest-grossing movie in the world at the time. It was temporarily dethroned by Avengers: Endgame in 2019 only to reclaim the crown with a Chinese re-release in March 2021.

Avatar 2
The Na'vi attack in 'Avatar: The Way of Water.'
| Credit: 20th Century Studios

Zoe Saldaña's Neytiri and Sam Worthington's Jake return to Pandora along with their kids. Sigourney Weaver will also return in a secret new role following the death of her character [it's a 2009 film, we're past spoilers at this point] in the original movie.

Rounding out the cast are Avatar vet Stephen Lang and newcomers like Cameron's Titanic ingenue Kate Winslet, action hero icon Michelle Yeoh,  Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, and Jemaine Clement.

Avatar: The Way of Water will be released in theaters Dec. 16 while the original Avatar will be remastered and re-released in theaters on Sept. 23.

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