James Cameron made an appearance at LA Times' Hero Complex Film Festival on Saturday, May 31 to talk about the "Avatar" sequels and the possibility of "Terminator" getting a 3D treatment. Of the sequels, the director recounted how the three films were written simultaneously and broken out in the style of a TV series.
Cameron said he hired Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Shane Salerno as writers for the three upcoming "Avatar" films. He first wrote the 1,500 pages of notes to be used by the writers as the basis of the scripts so that the writing team felt like they were adapting "a novel or series of novels."
Cameron was inspired by television series "Dark Angel" when writing the scripts, saying the process was "a really exciting, creative and groundbreaking experiment in screenwriting." The team "sat in the writing room for five months, eight hours a day, and we worked out every beat of the story across all three films so it all connects as one, sort of, three film saga. And I didn't tell them which one was going to be there's individually to write until the last day. So everyone was equally invested, story wise, in all three films," he said.
The director was eager to start shooting "Avatar 2" but would wait for all three scripts to be completed. He also unveiled the name of the new Disney theme park ride that adapted "Avatar", saying it might be called "Pandora: The Land of Avatar". Cameron elaborated, "It's going to have floating mountains. It's pretty cool. I've seen the model and the design work the Imagineering people have done is spectacular."
As for "Terminator", Cameron thought that it would be too difficult to alter the FX of the first movie, but the second one definitely had a chance. "Terminator 1 I don't think so because you could upgrade it to 3D but it's still pretty gritty, available light photography, low budget filmmaking," he said.
"We'd spend more converting it to 3D than we spent on the movie. That feels a little imbalanced to me. But Terminator 2 is a more polished film and, I think, it has a kind of timeless appeal. ...I'm just using that as an example. I'm just saying we're not ruling it out. We're looking at it."