Fans of James Cameron's Avatar will have been delighted by the news that the visionary director has shut down the development arm of his Earthship Productions company so he and his cohorts can concentrate on one thing and one thing only: making sequels to his 2009 smash hit. “I'm in the Avatar business. Period,” Cameron told the New York Times. “That's it. I'm making Avatar 2, Avatar 3, maybe Avatar 4, and I'm not going to produce other people's movies for them….I think within the Avatar landscape I can say everything I need to say that I think needs to be said, in terms of the state of the world and what I think we need to be doing about it. And doing it in an entertaining way.”
It is a typically headstrong and singular-vision move from Cameron whose notoriously stubborn ways have put him at odds with many of his former collaborators in his long and storied career. Cameron was a truck driver with no formal film education when he saw George Lucas' Star Wars in 1977 and decided that was what he wanted to do. He taught himself Special Effects techniques at the USC library in L.A. and took a job as a model maker in Roger Corman's famous studios. All this learning he put into his major breakthrough film, 1984's The Terminator. A highly innovative blend of special effects, action and adult, noir-ish storytelling it was made for a budget of just $7 million but went on to make ten times that amount at the American box office.
It set Cameron on an incredible career path which has seen the Canadian director mark himself out as one of the most bankable filmmakers of all time with major hit coming after major hit – Aliens, Terminator 2, True Lies, Titanic and Avatar.
Though it will stick in the craw of his many critics, Cameron's decision to stick to Avatar-only films for, quite possibly, the rest of his career should be taken seriously. James Cameron is not known as a man who makes empty promises.