The tropical paradise of Pandora has always stood as one of the biggest draws bringing audiences to both “Avatar” and its recent sequel, “The Way of Water,” but the situation back on Earth couldn’t be more different for those unable to escape into the stars. Such dystopian conditions at least partly inspired Jake Sully to join the military’s program, stepping in for his late twin brother Tommy and taking over the role that was initially meant for a much more scientifically-inclined mind. Producer Jon Landau hasn’t been shy about teasing the upcoming installments of what’s sure looking like an unstoppable, box office-breaking franchise, and his latest comments are no exception.
In the March 2023 issue of Empire Magazine, Landau provided a little more detail on how “Avatar 5” (the script of which, lest we forget, actor Stephen Lang stated left him “weeping”) will depict Earth in all its, well, less-than-glory. But don’t mistake that for a cynical, hopeless treatment of home. According to Landau:
“There’s over-population, and a depletion of our natural resources that make life harder. But we don’t want to paint a bleak picture for where our world is going. The films are also about the idea that we can change course.”
Oh James Cameron, ever the optimist! It stands to reason that the environmentalist filmmaker would want to communicate an overriding sense of passion and enthusiasm about all we can do to reverse course for our own ailing planet, rather than apathy. If the “Avatar” movies have one positive side-effect (other than taking money that would’ve otherwise gone to, as he colorfully put it, “buying an oil lease off of the north of Scotland”), then let’s hope it’s a renewed focus on arguably our most pressing issue.