James Cameron first formed a writers room to map out an Avatar sequel (or two, or three, or four) a decade ago – in 2013. Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, were two of the writers invited to join the Avatar think tank, along with Josh Friedman and Shane Salerno. They’ve been talking about some of the avenues they explored, and some of the ideas that were ultimately rejected. They could always turn up in one of the many upcoming Avatar movies, of course.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Rick Jaffa said; “There was one idea of a space battle with Na’vi. That idea got a lot of traction, and we talked a lot about it. We were struggling, though. How would that work with the story that we’re telling? Jim said, ‘Well, give me a few weeks.’ He went off and he wrote an entire script. And, by the way, a brilliant script.”
Learning everything about the mythology of Pandora took about two weeks alone. Cameron came prepped with hundreds of pages of notes about how he saw the continuing Avatar movies, including characters and other environments on the moon.
Unsurprisingly, Cameron had way too much material for just one movie. The treatment for what would become The Way of Water began as one movie but soon became two. “Just tons and tons of material,” Amanda Silver says. “The challenge was, how do we fit all this in and have it resonate emotionally by at the end of the movie and not be rushed? That’s really how our movie — the first one — became two.”
Fortunately, there are many more Avatar movies on the way. Check out our guide to best science fiction movies.