‘Avatar 2’: The James Cameron sequel finds a home

May 26, 2011 | 1:08 p.m.

Jon Landau at the Manhattan Beach Studios where Lightstorm will produce the next two "Avatar" films. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The sequel to “Avatar” will dive beneath the oceans of Pandora and perhaps visit neighboring moons as well, but the 2014 film will also be imprinted with the soul of Southern California, according to Richard Verrier of the Los Angeles Times business section. Verrier took a tour of the new home of the “Avatar” filmmaking team and its ambitions to follow up a film that pulled in a historic $2.8 billion in worldwide box office. Here’s an excerpt from Verrier’s report

Over the din of buzz saws and beeping forklifts, producer Jon Landau can barely contain his excitement as he strides into a 45-foot-tall sound stage that is barren except for workers building sets for a commercial shoot. “We’re taking over these two buildings here. We’ll have 200-plus people working down here. This is going to be the heart of the next two ‘Avatars’, ” he beams, referring to the planned sequels to the highest grossing film of all time.

MBS Media Campus, formerly known as Manhattan Beach Studios, has just landed A-list tenant Lightstorm Entertainment, the production company headed by “Avatar” director James Cameron and his longtime business partner Landau. The duo had considered building their own facility or even moving to Vancouver, Canada, or New Zealand to take advantage of lucrative tax breaks. Instead, they opted to remain in Los Angeles –- a boost for a region that has lost many major film productions to other locales — because of the range of services at the sprawling complex near Los Angeles International Airport.

“We had a choice,” Landau said. “We could have been anywhere. When it came down to it, we looked at what they had to offer and it was almost the perfect production paradigm: with big soundstages, adjacent office space and dressing rooms and state-of-the-art infrastructure.”

Lots more to come on this franchise …

– Geoff Boucher

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Comments


40 Responses to ‘Avatar 2’: The James Cameron sequel finds a home

  1. Ha! The picture of James Cameron is a bit scary, lol. I must say, I am rather excited to see where Cameron takes the world of Avatar. The film was unique (and in other ways, not so unique), but his imagination is unparalleled. I look forward to exploring more of the world that Cameron creates.

    With Love and Gratitude,

    Jeremiah

  2. zoe says:

    Me too, Jeremiah.

  3. Joseph L Cooke says:

    Oh, good. Another anti-military, anti-business, CGI-fest. Can't wait.

  4. david says:

    Don't make a sequel. The first movie was the worse movie ever made.

    • Your mom says:

      *worst

    • Andrew(Avatar LOVER) says:

      OMG! Avatar was fantastic!…how can anyone say that it was bad? I was absolutely astonished! I know for a fact that it is the best movie ever created. I went to the movie like weeks after it came out, had no clue what it was about and just watched it with no expectations wat so ever..I just thought it was a normal movie(AT FIRST), but then it got really good and I felt amazing! I never felt the way i did watching that movie it made me feel GREAT! It was sooo exciting. It is my #1 favorite movie and I've watched it over 50 times since then(almost every night since I have boughten it)… It is currently still number 1 for me…it beat out Van Helsing which used to be my number 1 but now its number 2!!!

  5. Joseph says:

    Avatar is a horrible movie. The themes are so full of mind control propaganda it is sickening. I would appreciate a film that actually honored science instead of appealing to human emotion all the time. I admit there are some good ideas but this rubbish Jeremiah is saying about Cameron's imagination being unparalleled… My 6 year old son could think up more ORIGINAL morphologies for alien organisms. I can think of so many movies more creative, if severely fictitious, than Avatar. I mean this most sincerely.

    • Andrew(Avatar LOVER) says:

      Wrong…see all ur thumbs down??!! Avatar is my favorite movie of all time!!! I am in love with it!..it is very creative and inventive it broke many records u know and how would an unimagenative movie be able to do soo well? How can u say human emotion is stupid!? Movies are suppose to tap into our feelings so we feel connected!! I felt a very strong connection with this movie. I seriously got the chills and felt anger at the bad guys and sadness when good people died!!! It felt sooo real for me!!! I doubt ur 6 year old son could make such an astonishing movie…no one can match it…it is the best…

    • Diane says:

      I loved it!

    • Rich says:

      Maybe you should go see a shrink!! This movie was awesome,

    • Kat says:

      As she says in the movie, you are a baby, UN- evolved, ignorant – seeing only the surface. Not ready yet

  6. cjoness says:

    I finally finished Avatar. Loved it! Ocean life sounds promising.

  7. Matt says:

    I think Avatar was an awesome movie and absolutely cannot wait for the next.

  8. resh says:

    We absolutely cannot wait for the sequel (my family and i). We loved the first movie and have added it to our bluray collection…2014 is such a long time away but 'm sure it will be worth it.

  9. Zerg says:

    I just hope he doesn't preach to us about colonialism and the evil white man again.

  10. Andrew(AVATAR LOVER) says:

    I WANT IT TO COME OUT RIGHT NOW!!! I AM OBSESSED! I CANT GET ENOUGH! MAKE MORE MOVIES MAKE A HUNDRED I WILL WATCH AND LOVE EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!!!

  11. Fernando says:

    Different people different opinions. If you didn't like it that's fine. I wouldn't say it was The best movie ever but it was a good movie and I'm looking forward to the next one.

  12. Thomas says:

    Avatar was a good movie I can’t wait for the next two

  13. Blake says:

    This was the best movie I have ever seen. I was late in the movie theater and it still astounded me. James Cameron has a very creative imagination and I don’t see how anyone could not love this movie. I cannot wait for the sequel(s) to come out.

  14. Jim LeFever says:

    Avatar was an incredibly imaginative movie and I look forward to the sequels. The knee jerk comments against the film are crap. It is not anti-military as there were no active military characters in the show; they were mercenaries working for a corporation. The film’s message was not anti-business or anti-white man; it was anti-evil, murderous, thieving scumbag. What is wrong with that message?

    • juan says:

      love , best comment i've read after ; reading a couple of band wagon ,poser fake comments~!* keepin it real. the movie is an expression of life depicts art. visa versa~only deep intelect/ open hearted story tellers understand the message cameron was conveying=) thank you james for sharing the vision of your soul.

  15. Vigianti says:

    Avatar is one of the most breath taking movies of all Hollywood times and Cameron did an amazing job in the making of this film, I would understand why this movie got over $2.8 billion ( and yes billion not million *-*) and the reason why Bay and Cameron are called the 3D Alphas of Hollywood (^_^ XD sweeet…).
    To be Continued…(sadly it was too long to be submitted all together :( AWW)

  16. Vigianti says:

    I don't understand why would people hate this movie though, it's beyond anything most directors or 3D artists would do and this movie isn't just all about the technology that was mentioned in the movie, I mean its realistic is infinate to most movies I've ever seen. Anyways I hope the years pass by quckly so the sequels of Avatar would come by in 2 – 3 years (the movies are gonna be out by 2014 and 2015 *O* *-*!!) I love his movies they're like a comet or the year of the cicadas come out which both are amazing and only happen once after many years so I was beyond excited and my excitiment couldn't be contained for long and soon enough I had to watch it and I was blown away and I know everyone had different by similar experiences with this -^_^- So I hope the sequels come by fast (; (Thxs a lot James Cameron for the inspiring movies)
    SIgned from a highly devoted and thankful fan,
    Vigianti

  17. BigBOYRoy says:

    its a movie haters get over it it was awesome it had a good plot and it was just straight fun!!!

  18. getting old says:

    i liked the film just wish they would get part 2 done before i need glasses and a wheel chair to see it

  19. Austin says:

    i just really want the movie to come out, but they should relese it to the public as soon as it is finished being produced

  20. Austin Lachance says:

    I don't understand why would people hate this movie though, it's beyond anything most directors or 3D artists would do and this movie isn't just all about the technology that was mentioned in the movie, I mean its realistic is infinate to most movies I've ever seen. Anyways I hope the years pass by quckly so the sequels of Avatar would come by in 2 – 3 years (the movies are gonna be out by 2014 and 2015 *O* *-*!!) I love his movies they're like a comet or the year of the cicadas come out which both are amazing and only happen once after many years so I was beyond excited and my excitiment couldn't be contained for long and soon enough I had to watch it and I was blown away and I know everyone had different by similar experiences with this -^_^- So I hope the sequels come by fast (; (Thxs a lot James Cameron for the inspiring movies)

  21. Taylor says:

    Honestly, Avatar is absolutely brilliant. Yes, it was very much like the story of Pocahontas, but Disney could never come up with something as detailed and advanced as Avatar. James Cameron is a very creative man who's earned his way to the top. I mean, seriously, he's basically pooping money after what? Two BILLION dollar movies? Very few people can say that. I just really loved the movie. I watch it at least twice a month, and somehow I always catch something new. It just doesn't get old. The next two probably won't be AS great, but what sequels are? Bottom line is that it's the top grossing movie of all time and so many people loved it. It's absolutely wonderful.

  22. Old Guy says:

    You guys that hate Avatar sound like all the critics 30 years ago that didn't understand why Star Wars was so popular.

  23. AMnthony says:

    I freaking loved the first Avatar movie, but I really hope they take good care of the story, because I know i'm not the only person who felt a sense of yearning to live like the Na'vi did.

  24. LRose says:

    Avatar is by far the most incredible, awesome film I have seen in a long time. The world of Pandora is fantastic, such beauty, so surreal, I wish I was there in reality! Awesome film and I can barely wait for the sequels! Wish it wouldnt take so long!

    • rolling eyes says:

      ok first off… yes this movie is baised on the story of pocahontas, obviously. secondly, disney not able to be as imaginative? seriously? disney didnt make up the story pocahontas!!! she was real! they took artistic freedom wi it, but it actually happened! thirdly… ididnt hate avatar, it was pretty, but it wasnt the greatest story ever, bc it was familiar… cameron did was speilberg did… he made his alien movie in opposites…. ever notice? look it up. i love aliens. but think about it ripley wants to kill the aliens but on pandora shes the doctor wanting to save them…. so original…. face palm….

  25. robertT says:

    When I first saw Avatar I was blown away by the incredible visuals and astonishing achievement of it. After subsequent viewings I came to be insulted by the story. I am equally as proud of my white half as I am by black half. I am sick of hearing or being preached to about how terrible 1/2 of my ancestors might have been and how evil they continue to be. It's ironic that the only group still practicing slavery to this day is on the black side of my make-up.

  26. Wolf says:

    I would like to set something straight. Avatar is not about white men being evil, or the military being bad. Yes i agree, it is similar to how the white men overran the indians, or how they enslaved the blacks, however there is no reason for this movie to be seen as racist or anti-military. It is simply a movie. In my opinion a damn good one at that. But for those of you who do dislike it, for whatever reason, do not think it is racist. it's a plot and if you want to relate it to racism well go ahead but don't try to ruin it for those of us who like the movie.It is possible to watch this movie and see no racism whatsoever. I find that those who are more sensitive to what others think about them tend to see racism in every little thing. stop being offended by the smallest gesture. Forget it and enjoy the movie.

    Ivong Na'vi!
    -Wolf

  27. radoc says:

    An incredible movie. It may not be for everyone, but 80-90% of movie goers isn"t bad. The only thing is is anti about is reality, and in this world perhaps we all need a little more of that. I have a recording of Avatar and each time I view it, I find something new in it. The sequel is a long time coming; but, I susect that it is going to be worth the wait

  28. nightwing says:

    what is the 2ed one about

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