The visionary sci fi director appeared on a video call with his old cybernetic pal Arnold Schwarzenegger for the Austrian World Summit, part of the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative. Other speakers include the U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, Prince Charles, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Jane Goodall, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, and others.
Cameron’s return to Pandora has been met with eight different release day changes, but his crew in New Zealand have come out the other side. “We lost about four and a half months of production,” he said.
“We’ve rolled around one more full year for a release in December of 2022,” he said. “Now that doesn’t mean I have an extra year to finish the film,” he added, lest physical fitness enthusiast Schwarzenegger think his old boss would then sit on the couch eating Pringles and streaming Pluto TV. “The day we deliver Avatar 2 we’ll just start working on finishing Avatar 3.”
The 2009 film Avatar was the first to surpass the $2 billion mark at the box office. It also ushered in a now mostly-abated resurgence of 3D filmmaking. Its final $2,790,439,092 tally was eventually surpassed in worldwide gross by Avengers: Endgame, by a little over seven million. (Cameron can lick his wounds, though, knowing he doesn’t just have the silver medal, but also the bronze with a little picture called Titanic.)
In the conversation with Schwarzenegger, which was mostly about climate change and cutting edge technology, Cameron said he was not an environmentalist in the sense of having credentials or a degree, but he considers himself an environmental advocate. Schwarzenegger said that it was Cameron who first brought environmental issues to his attention back in the 1980s when they made the first Terminator film. Cameron discussed the negative environmental impact of eating meat, sharing an anecdote about explaining vegetarianism from a Econ 101 point-of-view to Rupert Murdoch.
Cameron declined to give any story information about the Avatar sequels (or as Schwarzenegger calls it, “Ovitahhh”), citing his “love for the mystery,” but made it clear that his friend Arnold was welcome to come down and see the studio any time. It’s clear that these two men have a great affection for one another.
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