Get ready for Avatar 2 and 3, but don't get too excited about a fourth installment of the blue-tinted fantasy franchise.
There is a chance no. 4 may never happen—even though Sigourney Weaver told Showbiz 411 in June that plans were already in the works.
"We're not doing anything on 4 yet," director James Cameron told me the other day at Santa Monica's Casa del Mar hotel, where he was promoting the Blu-ray edition of Titanic (on sale Monday). "We'll see how 2 and 3 do."
Cameron did confirm that 2 and 3 will be shot at the same time as "one big mega-production."
"We're in the very early stages of that," he said. "We've spent the last two years building tools and software to make it a very smooth pipeline for what will be a very big and difficult project."
As for the storylines, Cameron said, "I've got the outline and I'm fleshing it out."
"It would have lost its power," he said. "It wouldn't have been successful. The inevitability of it is part of the poignancy. The heartbreak comes from knowing it has to end."
One of Cameron's best memories from making the movie was just after DiCaprio and Winslet wrapped their last shot. "They snuck up behind me and dropped a bucket of ice on my back," he said. "I guess it was considered fair play for all the time I put them in the water. But their water was never ice water. It was like a bath. It was like 80 degrees. We put in their cold breath later."
And to think DiCaprio wasn't exactly up for auditioning for the movie.
Yup, you read that right.
"We had already set Kate before Leo read for Jack," Cameron said. "I just remember he didn't want to read. He was in a really negative frame of mind. But then he put that down and he instantly became the character."
He added with a laugh, "I was like, 'God damn, now I have to cast him!'"