James Cameron Ready To Abandon ‘Avatar’ Franchise: ‘How Many People Give A S*** Now?’

James Cameron Ready To Abandon ‘Avatar’ Franchise: ‘How Many People Give A S*** Now?’

James Cameron hopes fans are still interested in the “Avatar” franchise more than a decade since the last installment, but he said he’s willing to accept if they aren’t.

The highly anticipated sequel “Avatar: The Way of Water” premieres in theaters on December 16, a full 13 years after the original film’s release. Cameron is hoping for another smash hit, seeing as how “Avatar” remains the highest-grossing movie of all time with an incredible $2.84 billion in revenue. But he’s also realistic about shifting audience expectations so many years later. 

“The market could be telling us we’re done in three months, or we might be semi-done, meaning: ‘OK, let’s complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly,’ if it’s just not profitable,” he told Total Film during an interview

“We’re in a different world now than we were when I wrote this stuff, even,” the director continued. “It’s the one-two punch — the pandemic and streaming. Or, conversely, maybe we’ll remind people what going to the theater is all about. This film definitely does that. The question is: How many people give a s*** now?”

There is evidence that fans still want more “Avatar,” however. The re-release of the original movie earned $30.5 million earlier this fall.

If “Way of Water” does resonate with audiences, Cameron has big plans to expand the franchise, and it sounds like he won’t be waiting another decade to tell the rest of the story. 

“The ‘Avatar’ films themselves are kind of all-consuming,” he said during a previous interview with 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.”

“Movie 4 is a corker. It’s a motherf***er,” he continued. “I actually hope I get to make it. 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.”

Cameron also said he doesn’t want to hear any criticism about the length of the latest movie.

“I don’t want anybody whining about length when they sit and binge-watch [television] for eight hours,” he told Empire. “I can almost write this part of the review. ‘The agonizingly long three-hour movie…’ It’s like, give me a f***ing break. I’ve watched my kids sit and do five one-hour episodes in a row. Here’s the big social paradigm shift that has to happen: it’s okay to get up and go pee.”