James Cameron Says He Might Not Direct The Next Two 'Avatar' Films

By the time “Avatar: The Way of Water” hits theaters this December, it’ll have been 13 years between “Avatar” films. While it’s still a big question mark whether James Cameron’s sequel can top the original’s box office ($2.8 billion), 20th Century Studios went all-in on five ‘Avatar’ films long ago, regardless. So, while we know “Avatar 3” is shot, complete from a production stand-point, and has a 2024 release date, there still are questions about “Avatar 4” and “Avatar 5,” which Cameron has not shot and has said in the past contain a significant time jump into the future.

READ MORE: ‘Avatar: The Way Of Water’: Sigourney Weaver Plays A Teenage Na’vi In James Cameron’s Upcoming Sequel

And well, part of the reason Cameron may not have shot those two films yet, is because he let someone else direct the final two films and focus on “other things,” according to a new interview with Empire Magazine.

“The Avatar films themselves are kind of all-consuming,” Cameron told Empire in a recent cover story interview. “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.”

Cameron still has some time to decide. “Avatar 4” isn’t currently scheduled until December 2026, and “Avatar 5” isn’t set to come out until December 2028. That said, ‘2’ and ‘3’ started shooting at the beginning of 2019, have been delayed several times, and ‘The Way Of Water’ has taken three years to complete from production to release date. This means ‘Avatar 4’ likely has to start shooting early in 2023, and if he passes that off, he will need to decide soon.

While some might question his ego, Cameron has successfully delegated in the past many times. Most recently, he recruited Robert Rodriguez to helm his “Alita: Battle Angel” project and Tim Miller (“Deadpool”) to take over “Terminator: Dark Fate.” The latter collaboration wasn’t the smoothest in the whole world, however. Miller told The Hollywood Reporter in 2019 that he wouldn’t work with Cameron again and admitted to “creative battles” on the sci-fi pic when speaking to Collider

What those “other” projects Cameron is referring to are unknown. There is the never-made film “Xenogenesis,” artwork of which was included in the “James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction” book. There’s also the possibility of more Alita films has Cameron originally conceived them as a trilogy. Whether Cameron can pry himself away from his ‘Avatar’ series in the end remains to be seen, but obviously, people will watch closely whatever he decides.

Until then, “Avatar: The Way of Water” will finally make its theatrical debut on December 16.