Avatar suite back on track

Pandora isn't as far off as you might think, with James Cameron saying he's nearly finished the scripts on the "mega project" he calls Avatar 2, 3 and 4.

For Cameron, life is a constant juggling act between his two passions - filmmaking and deep-sea exploration.

While many remember Cameron helmed Titanic, they perhaps don't know the Oscar winner also travelled to the ship's grave himself and directed the 3-D IMAX documentary Ghosts of the Abyss in 2003.

Although he's known for sci-fi flicks including Aliens and Terminator, in underwater doco Aliens of the Deep, he got up close to the strange beings far beneath the surface of our own planet.

And when Avatar was in production, it wasn't the only record-breaker being made.

At the same time, Cameron was making the world's highest- grossing movie, a submarine was being created so he could dive to the deepest part of the ocean.

It was a feat he achieved on March 26, 2012, and the claustrophobic expedition is now the focus of a new documentary Deepsea Challenge 3-D.

But with that done and dusted (bar the press tour), Cameron says, "now I'm fully dedicated to Avatar 2, 3 and 4".

"Where I am right now is the scripts are almost done, much of the preliminary design work has been done, so new creatures design, new settings, environments, other places you'll see on Pandora and other places in the Avatar universe.

"So it's all coming together."

He says it's not typical but they're making all three at the one time and then they will hit cinemas one after the other over a few years. "They'll drop a year apart, so they stay within the public consciousness as one big story.

"Christmas 2016, Christmas 2017 and Christmas 2018 is the target."

The countdown is on.

The West Australian

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