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James Cameron addresses whether Avatar will take up the rest of his career: ‘I can tell most of the stories I want to tell within it’

James Cameron will not be remiss if his career ends with his expansive Avatar saga.

The acclaimed director is currently working on the final three instalments of the fantasy franchise after the second, Avatar: The Way of the Water, hit theatres 16 December.

Avatar 3 is already in post-production and parts of Avatar 4 have already been filmed.

In a Q&A with fellow directors for Empire magazine, Cameron was asked by RRR director SS Rajamouli whether he ever felt bad that he was not able to tell all of the stories he wanted to because of the time consumption of Avatar.

“Hi, SS. Two thoughts in answer to your question,” Cameron responded, “the first is that the world of Avatar is so sprawling that I can tell most of the stories I want to tell within it and try many of the stylistic techniques that I hope to explore.

“And secondly, yes… our time as artists is finite. I will always mourn some of the stories that I don’t get to make.”

The director continued: “I feel a great satisfaction when other directors want to explore some of my ideas, like Kathryn Bigelow did with Strange Days, and Robert Rodriguez did when I passed him the baton on Alita: Battle Angel. I look forward to more collaborations in the future with directors I admire.”

James Cameron and a scene from ‘Avatar: The Way of the Water’ (Getty Images/20th Century Fox)
James Cameron and a scene from ‘Avatar: The Way of the Water’ (Getty Images/20th Century Fox)

After being announced in 2003, Alita was eventually passed from Cameron to Rodriguez following years of delays while Cameron worked on Avatar.

Cameron remained involved in the film creatively as a producer and it was eventually released in 2019.

Elsewhere in the interview, Cameron revealed that a long-standing story about his pitch meeting for Aliens was, in fact, completely true.

As the crux of his pitch, Cameron wrote the word “Alien” on a piece of paper, before drawing vertical lines through the final letter, turning it into a dollar sign.

Avatar: The Way of Water is out in cinemas now.