“No one ever dies in science fiction.”
James Cameron—blockbuster film director, deep-sea diver, and old lady diamond necklace fetishist—said this in the fall of 2011 when it was confirmed that Sigourney Weaver would return in the sequel to the 2009 mega-smash Avatar, despite the fact that her character died in the first movie.
Not only do sci-fi characters not have to follow the common laws of physics or mortality on-screen, but Cameron doesn’t apparently have to follow the common practice of making one movie at a time. Multiple sources have confirmed that not one, but as many as three sequels to Avatar will be filming simultaneously starting in September of this year.
Less clear about the upcoming Avatar films—don’t worry; the first one won’t be on the big screen for at least another two years, given Cameron’s penchant for inanely complicated post-production—is their subject matter and story lines. Cameron has confirmed that one of the films will spend some significant time in the ocean; if the Dances with Wolves parallels with the first Avatar weren’t enough, apparently Cameron is looking to cross Pandora with Waterworld. Perhaps Avatar 3 will incorporate plot elements from Tin Cup.
What is not yet confirmed is that Weaver’s character will appear on-screen in Avatar 2 in a way similar to Bernie from the Weekend at Bernie’s flicks. Now that’s a role Kevin Costner probably never envisioned for himself.