According to Ethan Sacks, of the New York Daily News, Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana will be reprising their roles as the lanky blue lovers in a three-film follow-up to the original box-office blockbuster, Avatar. The film remains the highest grossing movie of all time, raking in a staggering $2.8 billion dollars and counting. Filming for the Avatar sequels is slated to begin in New Zealand, with the first sequel set to shine on the big screen in December 2016. The second film will release in December 2017 and the final installment in December 2018.
Though reports say little about the story, and what can be expected for adventures and adversaries in the new films, reports do mention that in addition to Sam and Zoe returning for their roles, one other favorite from the original will appear. Stephen Lang, whose cold-hearted Colonel Miles Quaritch was impaled with arrows in the first Avatar, will be resurrected from the dead to play villain once again in all three of the Avatar sequels.
Sacks also mentions that rather than writing the screenplays himself, director, James Cameron, has rallied an all-star team of sci-fi genre writers to collaborate on the scripting of the sequels. The writers will include; “Josh Friedman from War of the Worlds, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver from Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Shane Salerno of Savages fame.
The article also indicates that the sequels will be visually ground-breaking. Like the first film,which dazzled in 3D brilliance in a way that few films have since the popularization of the multi-D format, the sequels will once again raise the bar for visual effects and 3D environments and action. Cameron tantalised the audience with recent announcements.
“It’s going to be a lot of new imagery, and a lot of new environments and creatures across Pandora… We’re blowing it out all over the place,” he teases, “the Pandora that we have imagined will be a fantasy land that is going to occupy people for decades to come, the way I see it.”
Exciting as that may be, Avatar fans will have to wait until December, 2016 to see those worlds shine on the big screen. Though millions of people raved about the merits of the original Avatar, citing how exciting it was to see the representation of a supposedly “spiritual race” fighting to defend their planet, there was not a completely happy ending to the first film. Those more astute viewers who noted the grim and foreboding repercussions that would result from the first film’s climactic end, in which every one of the lanky, blue, tree-loving warriors on the planet band together to fight off the small invading fleet of militarized humans, are fairly salivating at the potential story line that could springboard off of that.
Those emotional viewers of the first film, through the tears of joy and victory that blur their eyes as they watched the invading human hoards ushered back onto their ships, might have missed the implications. When that small, defeated fleet returns home to the military industrial world that sent it to mine Pandora for profit, that planet will then send the full force of its military might to quash the violent rebellion of our beloved blue dragon-riders.
When one considers the white-knuckled struggle, and the losses incurred by the people of Pandora in their fight to overcome the twenty-some ships sent to survey the planet, the potential for an extension of the allegory excites many fans. Along with the further death and destruction certain to come in the sequels; the savvy viewer might come to question the merit of mankind’s “fight fire with fire”, and “eye-for-an-eye” mentality.
This too-familiar story conjures images of Native Americans in the early days of the United states. The story parallels the tales of a people living in harmony with Mother Nature and her ways, being muscled out of their right to roam the land, and breath the free air, by Western “civilization’s” military-industrial might. Some, interested the modern-day allegory, believe that the theme of the senselessness of “fighting to win” in the picture may be a commentary on events in the far east. Dark imaginations look for lessons to a world that has been fighting to win a War on Terror. Simply the potential of an on-screen visualization of a war which might inevitably leave the whole world burnt and blind, has audiences begging for deeper meaning buzzing with the possibilities
As the Avatar Sequels get set to shine on the big screen in December 2016, some viewers will wait and hunger for the fight, while others, will hold out for an original and inspiring representation of a new way of being.
By Keith Wyatt