Director reveals he has an idea for a prequel to the planned 'Avatar' trilogy

The fourth Avatar movie will be a prequel to the planned trilogy, director James Cameron has revealed.

Speaking in May (2012), Cameron suggested that he could shoot three sequels to his 2009 blockbuster back-to-back. He told Movieweb: “I’m in the Avatar business. Period. That’s it. I’m making Avatar 2, Avatar 3, maybe Avatar 4.”

Last week (September 4), producer Jon Landau confirmed that he and Cameron were making two sequels, but insisted that talk of Avatar 4 is premature. He said at the time: “We [are] doing two [sequels] back-to-back, but not a third.”

However, Cameron has now admitted that he has an “idea for a fourth [film]”. He told MTV News: “I haven’t really put pen to paper on it, but basically it goes back to the early expeditions of Pandora, and kind of what went wrong with the humans and the Na’vi and what that was like to be an explorer and living in that world.”

Confirming that the fourth movie would be a prequel, Cameron explained: “It’s a logical thing to do because we’ll have completed the thematic arc by the end of [Avatar] three. The only thing left to do is go back to see what it was like on those first expeditions and create some new characters that then become legacy characters in later films. It’s a plan.”

Released in 2009, Avatar became the highest-grossing movie ever with worldwide box office takings exceeding $2.7 billion (£1.7 billion). However, making the film was notoriously time-consuming because Cameron had to develop new technology to build its innovative virtual world, Pandora.

Discussing progress on the sequels, Cameron revealed that he is currently “writing two scripts together as one big thing.” He also admitted that his team are trying to make Pandora easier to create, saying: “We’ve spent two years refining the whole pipeline… we want it to be a much smoother workflow just for creativity reasons.”