Avatar's Sam Worthington On Why James Cameron Didn't 'Rush Into' The Sequel

Everyone loves the "Avatar" movies, regardless of what they say. The first one burst into theaters in 2009, skyrocketing to the highest of peaks as it became the largest-grossing movie of all time. To no one's surprise, 20th Century Fox quickly greenlit two sequels, but Cameron expanded that number to four in 2016, with the potential for a sixth and seventh movie.

After 13 years of development, his first sequel, "Avatar: The Way of Water," finally hit theaters, bringing back franchise stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Stephen Lang. Similar to how long audiences waited for it, the movie picks up over a decade after the events of "Avatar," with Jake (Worthington) and Neytiri (Saldana) working hard to protect their children from the returning humans. "The Way of Water" expands on the ideas Cameron set up in the first film, introducing audiences to everything Pandora's vast oceans have to offer, including the water Na'vi tribe, the Metkayina.

The box office performance of "The Way of Water" not only assured that Cameron would make the rest of his sequels but proved that audiences are more than willing to wait over a decade to get a quality sequel. While expected production delays hit "The Way of Water," Worthington said that Cameron wanted to take his time with the sequel, and that's a big reason for the film's success.

Story comes first for the Avatar sequels

In an interview with Complex, "Avatar: The Way of Water" star Sam Worthington gave fans a look into why James Cameron took so long to release the sequel, and it had to do with making the best possible product. "Jim [Cameron] raises the bar, but he gives everyone around him the confidence to jump over that bar and that's him," Worthington said. "He's a very generous spirit, great storyteller. And he takes a lot out of his time. You know people say it took a lot of time? Look at the positive of that. Jim didn't rush into it because he wanted to make more money or keep his sausage factory product going. He took his time. What's the journey these characters have to go on next? Tell me. I think that's what he was waiting for."

Cameron gave insight into the development process for "The Way of Water" when talking to IndieWire, revealing how much work went into making the perfect sequel. After "Avatar" came out, the director took a break, using his "time off" to explore the depths of the ocean as research for "The Way of Water." He then threw out his original script for the sequel, bringing on a team of new writers to help him work through his ideas. They worked on the story for four years before production officially started in 2017. Cameron then split that massive script into "The Way of Water" and "Avatar 3," telling two different stories rather than smashing them into one movie.