Here's my source's email (emphasis is mine):
"Jim is probably going to kill himself making this, no I'm not joking. This is going to be the very definition of ambitious film making. The jump will be like Terminator 2 Judgement Day was to The Terminator.
All you need to know is... water. Lots of water. Lots of things in the water. A key component, but by no means the only one. Those who loved the first, will be equally amazed at what they haven't seen. The lengths to which R and D are going, is monumental, but that is just an one aspect, this is pushing on all cylinders. Avatar was just an introduction to a world and an idea, going forward will be where the world is explored and explained, but perhaps not the only one. Which brings challenges in itself, worlds are unique. Not everything in that universe will be so beautiful and picturesque. That is a key word I think, universe.
We always picture ourselves as the invaded, but never the invaders in cinema. If you take a look at the real world, that may not be such a realistic stance, if we were capable of it, we most likely would put profit and resources over planetary systems and ecosystems. We do it here on Earth all the time, and just look at the results.
James Cameron is a genius, I hate that word, but there is no other word to really describe him.
You all need to start getting excited, because I'm telling you, He'll be back."
So the real news here is the source confirmation that water is heavily involved, the AVATAR universe is about to open up and Cameron is not slowing down in the research and development areas of his work. So of course I'm thinking 48 or 60 frames per second, some cool new performance capture technology and perhaps having Cameron himself strapped high above the volume shooting his scenes! Why do I say that? His company, Cameron Pace Group shot CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: WORLD'S AWAY where he did actually strap himself in a harness 80 feet off the ground for some shots. I could very easily see a harness being used for 360 wraparound shots that involve actors swimming underwater. Says Cameron: "Put me in a body harness with a camera and I'm fine. Free rock climbing, however, is something you will never see me do. Ever!"
Here's what Cameron had to say about AVATAR 2 and 3 recently while publicizing the disc release of WORLDS AWAY 3D:
Can you give us some scoop about your upcoming little film called "Avatar 2"
Cameron: "Oh believe me, it's not that little! It's not exactly a little, intimate drama. I'm working on 'Avatar 2' and 'Avatar 3.' I was talking the other day with Peter Jackson and said, 'You had it easy dude. You had the books when you did the second and third 'Lord of the Rings.' I have to create my own books in my head and extract a script from it. I'm deep into it and I'm living in Pandora right now. There is that start up torque where you feel it's coming to you. Then you build up momentum. That's when it gets fun. The characters talk and it's writing itself. I'm almost there right now. It's building fast."
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Cameron: "As a writer, I need isolation. I'm calling you from New Zealand right now where I'm writing on a little farm. When you live in a special world like Pandora, you have to live in that world."
Do you ever feel the pressure of topping yourself? And do you have a release date you can share with us for "Avatar 2 and 3?"
Cameron: "Pressure, no. It's a little daunting because sequels are always tricky. You have to be surprising and stay ahead of audience anticipation. At the same time, you have to massage their feet with things that they know and love about the first film. I've walked that line in the past, so I'm not too worried about it. At the same time, I definitely have to deliver the goods…As for a release date that will be determined by when I get the script out. No pressure!"
Stay tuned for more! I've got my ears to the ground on this and I'm begging for a concept board shot as soon as I can get it! :-)
Cameron Interview Source: Play Goes Strong via Bleeding Cool