James Cameron is still working on the sequels to his acclaimed sci-fi film Avatar, but even he admits that it is becoming a tall order. Cameron appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last week, and he gave a melancholy update on the projects. When asked how he deals with the sky-high expectations of fans, he said simply: "I cry."
I just sit here at my desk, and I cry all day long because there's no way," Cameron continued. The filmmaker broke box office records with Avatar in 2009 and promised a whole series of franchises which he hoped would spawn the next big sci-fi franchise. However, the wait for the next installment stretched longer and longer until the movies became a bit of meme among fans and critics. From the sound of it, Cameron is well aware of these jokes, and he does not have the easiest time digesting them.
"It's too much pressure, dude!" he told Fallon. "We just try to be kind of true to what people loved about the first film and take it into whole new areas." Fallon also asked Cameron about the box office legacy of Avatar, giving Cameron an opening to make an impassioned plea on behalf of movie theaters in general. He worried about the state of the entire movie industry following the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
"What we really need to focus on is getting back to theaters and hopefully we can still have films like that, like Endgame and Avatar, the big Marvel movies and all that," he said. "Let's pray that the theaters are there after this pandemic and after this shift to streaming... Let's remember that that theater is kind of a sacred experience for all of us and let's get back there when it's safe to do so."
Cameron was on The Tonight Show to promote his new National Geographic special, Secrets of the Whales. He has a long-standing love for the ocean in his career, and he hinted that the new Avatar movie will play into that passion. He said that the movie takes place in an ocean, suggesting that fans will see new depths of the planet Pandora whenever the movie finally comes out.
Cameron spent over three years shooting the Avatar sequel, but finally wrapped up the project in September of 2020. However, there is still no word on when fans might see it.