James Cameron Says ‘Avatar’ Sequels Share Something With ‘The Godfather’

Cameron’s planned focus led him to think of Francis Ford Coppola’s legendary crime film

James Cameron Avatar Godfather

There probably aren’t many people who would compare the Na’vi to the Corleones, but James Cameron says that his upcoming “Avatar” sequels will have a story similar to “The Godfather” in that it will be a “generational family saga.”

Cameron made the remarks Saturday during a press event at his production studio in Manhattan Beach to promote his upcoming AMC documentary series “AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction.” He said that as a father of five, he imagined what “Avatar” would be like if it focused more on the families of the characters from the original film, which led him to think of Francis Ford Coppola’s legendary 1972 movie.

“Obviously very different genre, very different genre, but I got intrigued by that idea. So, that’s really what it is. It’s a generational family saga. And that’s very different from the first film,” he said. “It’s a continuation of the same characters, but what happen when warriors that are willing to go on suicide charges, and leap off cliffs on to the back of big orange toruks, what happens when they grow up and have their own kids? It becomes a very different story.

“Now the kids are the risk-takers and the change-makers,” Cameron continued. “So, it’s interesting, but it makes sense to me. Everybody’s either a parent, or they had parents at the very least, and if you look at the big successful franchises now, they’re pretty much uninterested in that.”

Premiering April 30, “AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction” will see the director sit down and discuss the history of the genre with some of its most famous filmmakers. Among them is “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, whom Cameron said he had to persuade to do the show.

“He said, ‘I don’t do stuff like this,’” Cameron remembered. “I said, ‘I know, I know. But if you’re going to do stuff like this, you should do this one, because you’ve defined a certain genre of pop culture-science fiction, you created it. You know, it sprang from your forehead. Were all living in the after-shocks of that now, even forty years later.’”

Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and the rest of the original cast return for “Avatar 2.”  They’ll be joined by a new cast of young actors playing the children of Jake Sully and Neytiri, as well as members of new Na’vi tribes and human children still living on the alien planet of Pandora. Kate Winslet will also star as a Na’vi. Production on the sequel started last August with a planned release date for August 2020.