It’s been nearly a decade since James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar changed the cinematic landscape by using state-of-the-art, motion capture 3-D technology. As fans wait patiently for four planned follow-up sequels to the 2009 film, they’ve had to make due with an Avatar-inspired Cirque du Soleil performance piece, a traveling science exhibit, and a recently opened themed area at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The much-delayed films, at a cost of a reported $1 billion, are now expected in December 2020, 2021, 2024, and 2025.
At a studio in Manhattan Beach, California, that formerly belonged to Marvel, Cameron and his company, Lightstorm Entertainment, are working steadfastly to meet those deadlines. The space, designed by Lynda Murray, is, unsurprisingly, a nod—perhaps some might even go so far as to say a shrine—to the Na’Avi and their planet Pandora.
“We’ve joked around the office that we should change the name of the company from Lightstorm to Avatarstorm,” says Cameron's producing partner, Jon Landau, who oversaw the renovation. “We want to give people who come up to the office a sense of where we’ve been and where we’re going with the Avatar films. Without revealing any of the story, of course.”