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Avatar director James Cameron says upcoming sequel was ‘very f***ing’ expensive to make

Ali Condon

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Avatar director James Cameron says upcoming sequel was ‘very f***ing’ expensive to make

James Cameron has shared that the upcoming Avatar sequel The Way of Water was 'very f***ing' expensive to make.

Since he's been working on this film since 2013, though, that might not come as much of a surprise.

But now the director needs this film to be at least the third or fourth 'highest grossing film in history' just to break even.

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It sounds like a big ask, but when you consider that the first Avatar flick is the top grossing movie ever and earned $2.9 billion worldwide, anything is possible for this filmmaker.

Avatar: The Way of Water will continue Jake Sully and Ney'tiri's story.

The two have now formed a family in Pandora, but when an ancient threat resurfaces, Jake will find himself fighting a conflicting war against the humans.

Cameron warned the film studio that this sequel would be 'the worst business case in movie history' because it was 'very f***ing expensive' to make.

The director, who is also the man behind the Terminator films, Point Break, and Titanic, told GQ that if this next film is going to make a profit, 'you have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history. That’s your threshold. That’s your break even.'

According to IMDB, the first Avatar film cost about $237 million to make. And it didn't help Cameron's pockets when he decided they needed to start all over again for the second film.

That means new underwater cameras, new AI, and a new motion capture system - among many other things.

Avatar 2 was 'very f***ing' expensive to make. Credit: 20th Century Studios
Avatar 2 was 'very f***ing' expensive to make. Credit: 20th Century Studios

It sounds like Cameron is setting himself up for an unbearable pile of work, but the director insists that this is his bread and butter.

"I’m attracted by difficult. Difficult is a f***ing magnet for me", he said.

Explaining that there are plenty of 'really gifted, really talented' filmmakers in the business, Cameron thinks he gives himself a 'tactical edge' by trying to do things that nobody else has ever seen 'because the really gifted people don’t f**king want to do it.'

When they were first released, James Cameron projects like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, True Lies, and Titanic were also among the most expensive films ever made - and it's a legacy that he's proud of.

"I used to be really defensive about that", he admitted. "Because it was always the first thing anybody would mention.

James Cameron's expensive budgets give him a 'tactical edge' as a filmmaker. Credit: ScreenProd / Photononstop / Alamy Stock Photo
James Cameron's expensive budgets give him a 'tactical edge' as a filmmaker. Credit: ScreenProd / Photononstop / Alamy Stock Photo

"And now I’m like, if I can make a business case to spend a billion dollars on a movie, I will f***ing do it."

He explained that he's managed to get away with his big spending for so long because he doesn't 'put it all on a pile and light it on fire.'

He said: "If the studio agrees and thinks it’s a good investment, as opposed to buying an oil lease off of the north of Scotland, which somebody would think was a good investment, why not do it?”

Even more impressive than his big budgets is the fact that, to date, Cameron's films have all made a profit - sometimes an astronomical one. Now, the question is; will Avatar: The Way Of Water do the same?

Featured Image Credit: Rich Gold / Alamy/ 20th century studios

Topics: TV and Film

Ali Condon
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