Wondering when the second and third "Avatar" films might hit theaters? Go ahead and add a potential fourth to that list. 


In a new interview with the New York Times, James Cameron hints that his blockbuster franchise may expand beyond the previously planned trilogy. "I’m making 'Avatar 2,' 'Avatar 3,' maybe 'Avatar 4,' and I’m not going to produce other people’s movies for them," the 57-year-old said, explaining that he's cleared his plate to work on nothing but revisiting the alien world of Pandora — oh, and working on documentaries.


"I’m not interested in taking scripts," he added. "And that all sounds I suppose a little bit restricted, but the point is 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. And anything I can’t say in that area, I want to say through documentaries, which I’m continuing. I’ve done five documentaries in the last 10 years, and I’ll hopefully do a lot more. In fact, I’m doing one right now, which is on this, the Deep Sea Challenge project that we just completed the first expedition. So that’ll be a film that’ll get made this year and come out first quarter of next year."


In terms of development on the films, Cameron says that he's still in the process of writing; with design not yet even started. It's rumored that his Lightstorm production group may work with the Chinese film industry on some aspects of "Avatar."


"There are a lot of things I want to look at as possibilities," he said. "Because it’s such an exciting market that’s growing so rapidly. There’s a lot that I also have to know about — government restrictions and so on. That would apply to the co-production issues, with respect to content, censorship, content requirements, Chinese content and so on."


And speaking of China, Cameron brushed aside speculation that "Avatar's" plot was in any way inspired by that country's resource management. 


"Other than that there was speculation that it might be problematic for the government, seen as criticism of a resource-hungry nation," he said. "Except all the developing or developed nations on the planet are resource-hungry. So the same perspective was in Russia, Europe, Canada and the U.S. I got the biggest political blowback in the U.S., because frankly the U.S. is the most medieval right now when it comes to climate change and the role of business in compromising and devastating the natural world. Way behind Europe."


Check out the full interview here

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Could there be 4 'Avatar' films?
In a New York Times interview, Director James Cameron chats about the future of his blockbuster sci-fi franchise.