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James Cameron is still "the king of the world." Last year, the director followed up his Oscar winning film Titanic, which earned over $1 billion worldwide, with the critically acclaimed and visually groundbreaking motion picture, Avatar, which went on to break all of its predecessor's records by earning over $2 billion worldwide. Late last summer Cameron re-released Avatar with nine minutes of never-before-seen footage, and he is about to release an Extended Collector's Edition of the movie on Blu-ray and DVD that will contain the original theatrical cut, the special edition re-release and a new collector's edition that includes six more minutes of new footage, making it sixteen minutes longer than the original version of the film. The director is also busy prepping for Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, which he has said that he plans to shoot back-to-back. But will the Avatar sequels be Cameron's next project?
Rumors began swirling last week that he may direct Cleopatra, starring Angelina Jolie first, before he journeys back to Pandora. In addition to that, actress Sigourney Weaver recently dropped the bombshell that her character, Dr. Grace Augustine, may not have actually died at the end of the first film, as fans were led to believe. And that the actress will in fact be returning for the sequels. Yesterday, we were invited to a special event that Mr. Cameron held to promote the upcoming release of the Avatar Extended Collector's Edition on Blu-ray and DVD, which will be available on November 16th. We took the opportunity to ask the director about the status of the sequels, where Cleopatra falls in his busy schedule, and if Grace is really dead or not?
Here is what he had to say about the current status of the upcoming Avatar sequels:
"It's in progress right now. There is a lot of writing, there is a lot of a designing and a lot of tech work that we are going to do. What I can tell you is that our plan right now is to make Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 together as a single large production released a year a part. In order to do that, we have to refine our technical process beyond the end of where we were when we were finishing Avatar, so we are taking our time now. Partially because going through the process, even though we refined that process as we went along, there were certain things that we would have had to go full stop to be able to improve and upgrade and we are in that process now."
On the subject of Cleopatra starring Angelina Jolie and whether he will direct that before or after the Avatar sequels, James Cameron stated: "I haven't made any decisions on that. But here is a decision ...I'm not going to work on a film between Avatar 2 and 3. It's really just a question of whether I do one between now and when we start Avatar 2. We are still evaluating how much of our tech work and how much of our facility work it is going to take. That's what I've decided as of right now. I'd love to just start on Avatar 2 right now, but I'm not sure if that is possible to do or if it makes sense to wait." Finally, James Cameron discussed the supposed death of Grace in the first film and the possibility of Sigourney Weaver returning for the sequels:
""Who said she died? Nobody dies in a science-fiction movie. Whether Grace lives or dies depends probably more on Sigourney's agent than anything."