After a break of more than a decade, James Cameron is finally taking audiences back to the beautiful, enchanting, and incredibly dangerous world of Pandora in AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER, the long-awaited sequel to 2009’s AVATAR. The Earth-like moon in the Alpha Centauri System, has been a massive playground for the legendary filmmaker, with various locations having already been explored in great detail, it is easy to imagine the rest of Pandora being just as magical as its massive lush forests and idyllic coastal areas with their crystal-clear waters and exotic wildlife.
Well, at some point in the near future, other corners of Pandora will be explored, as James Cameron revealed when we spoke to him ahead of the release of AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Let’s dive into his comments and find out what audiences might see in the future before figuring out if leaving Pandora is even necessary for future installments.
Pandora’s Already Explored Regions
Before we get into what James Cameron had to say about future explorations of the surface of Pandora, we should first brush up on all the places the director took audiences in the first two AVATAR movies.
As soon as Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) got off the dropship after spending six years in cryo-sleep, the former Marine, like the audience, is thrown into the middle of Pandora’s sprawling jungle where both unexplored beauty and danger await in AVATAR.
Leaving the jungles behind, AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER introduces the audience to the Metkayina, the inhabitants of the moon’s coastal areas with exceptional free-diving skills and understanding of the world’s underwater treasures.
But with the jungles and waters of Pandora already having been explored, what other wonders await in future AVATAR movies?
Mountains, Polar Regions And Deserts
James Cameron’s plans for the AVATAR franchise go far and wide, with as many as four sequels in the works, including a third movie that could be released as soon as two years from now. And while we will be staying on Pandora for the foreseeable future, this doesn’t mean Cameron’s characters will be retreading old ground. In fact, as Cameron told AMC Theatres in his pre-AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER interview, we will see mountains, polar regions, and deserts in future installments.
“So, eventually over time, we’ll see the mountains, we’ll see polar regions, we’ll see deserts, and the people who have adapted to that lifestyle and so on; different biomes, different cultures as we travel around, and some others we’ll be expecting.”
What makes Cameron’s remarks so exciting, besides the possibility of seeing new remarkable locations, is the cultural side of these explorations. It will be interesting to see these different cultures and how the various tribes interact with each other.
Is It Even Necessary To Go Beyond Pandora?
While there has been talk that the AVATAR franchise will partially take place on Earth during its fifth installment, the vast majority of the series will play out where it all began, on Pandora. James Cameron has yet to reveal which biomes will be introduced in each subsequent film – it would be cool to see a new location unveiled in each sequel before leading to some kind of meeting or clash of cultures – the ALIENS and TITANIC director does know that everything he wants or needs to explore can be found on Pandora.
However, at one point in time, Cameron contemplated taking his franchise to other locations throughout the Alpha Centauri System to expand the story, as he explained to AMC Theatres.
“I even had a version of the story where there’s another moon called Casandra, and we saw part of the story go there and come back. I eventually thought, ‘I don’t need that. I can do everything I need to do on Pandora. You don’t have to go to a different planet every time. You can do it all on the one planet. That’s how Earth works, you know.”
And while the idea of Jake Sully, Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña), and their children jumping from one moon to the next seems like a fun way to extend the AVATAR franchise even further, Cameron brings up a good point about Pandora providing everything he needs to tell his story. Plus, it feels as if he’s barely scratched the surface of his enchanting and mysterious world.
We’ll have to wait and see how James Cameron explores the mountains, polar regions, and deserts of Pandora in future installments of the AVATAR franchise. But for now, you can check out AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER on a number of different formats including IMAX 3D, Dolby Cinema at AMC and RealD 3D at theatres nationwide.