On Thursday, director James Cameron made a surprise appearance at CinemaCon, the movie theater owners convention in Las Vegas, to announce that he was making four sequels to his 2009 mega-hit Avatar.
Cameron also announced that the films would open over the Christmas holiday in 2018, 2020, 2022, and 2023.
After Cameron's presentation, however, a quote purportedly from the filmmaker began to circulate on Twitter. And that quote made it seem like his rationale for making an Avatar quintilogy was more based out of…spite.
Someone showed me a tweet by this woman Dana something. Dana Smith? And it was, I'm paraphrasing here, but basically something along the lines of see how many of you can name one character or one line of dialogue from Avatar. And the implication was that nobody could, because the film, despite making a lot of money, didn't make a huge impression on people. So I got my team together and showed them this tweet and said, you know, what do we do about this. And we came up with a lot of ideas, just kinda put everything on the table. But the one we kept returning to was making four Avatar sequels instead of the one that we were planning. The idea being that if we had five Avatar movies spanning, you know, two decades or whatever, and people were just being constantly bombarded with Avatar from every direction, something would have to stick. So really, it all started with a tweet. Which is kind of amazing when you think about it.
The idea that a snarky tweet drove Cameron to saturate the world with Avatar made some people very happy.
The tweet referenced in that supposed quote from Cameron does, in fact, exist, from writer Dana Schwartz.
But Cameron, alas, did not actually say he's making four Avatar movies because of Schwartz's tweet.