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James Cameron Estimates He’ll Retire After 5 or 6 More Movies, Half Being ‘Avatar’ Sequels

"I would have to train somebody how to do this because, I don’t care how smart you are as a director, you don’t know how to do this," Cameron said of passing the "Avatar" torch.

Avatar: The Way of Water

“Avatar: The Way of Water”

Walt Disney Studios

James Cameron might be calling it quits on Hollywood.

The Academy Award winner estimated in a Hollywood Reporter cover story that he has five or six more movies left in his career, with three of them being “Avatar” sequels. “Avatar: The Way of Water” will premiere December 16 in theaters, with “Avatar 3” confirmed for a December 2024 release. Cameron is set to be filming “Avatar 4” and “Avatar 5” back to back, dated through 2028.

To THR, Cameron said he would be open for “Avatar 6” and “Avatar 7.”

“I’d be 89 by then,” the director stated. “Obviously, I’m not going to be able to make ‘Avatar’ movies indefinitely, the amount of energy required.”

He added, “I would have to train somebody how to do this because, I don’t care how smart you are as a director, you don’t know how to do this.”

Earlier this year, Cameron called the franchise “all-consuming” in an interview with Empire Magazine. “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,” the “Titanic” helmer said.

Cameron continued, “Movie four is a corker. It’s a motherfucker. I actually hope I get to make it. But it depends on market forces. Three is in the can so it’s coming out regardless. I really hope that we get to make four and five because it’s one big story, ultimately.”

The budget for all four slated “Avatar” sequels is a collective $1 billion. Cameron stated that if “Avatar: The Way of Water” underperforms at the box office, though, the franchise may cap off with the third film to “complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly, if it’s just not profitable.”

“We’re in a different world now than we were when I wrote this stuff, even,” Cameron said to Total Film. “It’s the one-two punch – the pandemic and streaming. Or, conversely, maybe we’ll remind people what going to the theater is all about. This film definitely does that. The question is: how many people give a shit now?”

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