At last, after more than a decade since the first film took us on a journey to the paradise of Pandora, James Cameron is returning with Avatar 2… and 3, 4, 5.
The visionary director returns with the long-awaited sequels, and this time, the sequel will explore his “lifelong love for the ocean.”
And based on behind-the-scenes images, it is apparent that Cameron is leaving no stone unturned to figure out the best way to capture the Na’vi in a completely different territory—under the deep blue ocean.
The on-set images, first shared by EW, give us a glimpse of the underwater filming process with gymnasts in motion-capture suits and also what it looks like on the human/military side of things.
In one picture, Cameron is seen with Edie Falco, who has joined the cast as General Ardmore of the RDA in what looks like a military aircraft.
At first glance, it looks like a submarine submerged in water, but the director cleared that up, saying, “It looks like we’re in a sub, but it’s really the flight deck of a dragon gunship, which is an aircraft we saw in the first movie.”
Another image shows just how tricky working underwater has been. A cameraman is seen filming underwater with gymnasts and dancers in motion-capture suits without any equipment. Cameron explained that they all had to hold in their breaths as the scuba bubbles created “too much noise on the performance-capture system.”
The other image shows the director talking to actor Jack Champion, who is in a pool wearing a breathing mask with crew members surrounding him. The 14-year-old actor plays Spider, a human teenager born on Pandora.
Not only Jack but all other actors have had to train hard to prepare for the scenes that require them to act underwater. 72-year-old Sigourney Weaver, who’ll return to another role after dying in the first film, can hold her breath for six-and-a-half minutes.
The film will reunite Cameron with Titanic star Kate Winslet, who can hold her breath for seven-and-a-half minutes and will play the mysterious Ronal, one of the Metkayina.
(So you mean to tell me Jack really died for nothing when Rose could’ve easily survived in the ocean without staying on the door the whole time???)
Talking about the filming process, Cameron added, “It sounds kind of nuts, the process. I mean, if Avatar hadn’t made so much damn money, we’d never do this—because it’s kind of crazy.”
Disney has gone all out for the franchise as the four sequels have an insanely hefty budget of about $1 billion in total.
Avatar 2 does not have an official title yet, but the film wrapped up filming last September. Although the film was initially planned to come out this December, it is currently set for a release on December 16, 2022.
The sequel will tell the story of Jake Sully and Neytiri about 14 years after the original film as they have settled down and started a family.
The article also mentions that Avatar 3 is currently in its early post-production stages, with Weta Digital working its magic to breathe life into the scenes.
Avatar 3 is scheduled to release on December 20, 2024, followed by Avatar 4 in December 2026 and Avatar 5 in December 2028.
Now that so many Avatar films are happening, I hope Disney trusts Cameron on another one of his visions and greenlights a sequel to Alita: Battle Angel.
(P.S. I just want to see Alita get to Zalem.)
About Avatar: The Way of Water
Avatar: The Way of Water is an upcoming American epic science fiction film directed by James Cameron and produced by 20th Century Studios. It is the second film in Cameron’s Avatar franchise, following Avatar (2009).
Cameron produces with Jon Landau. Cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, CCH Pounder, and Matt Gerald are all reprising their roles from the original film, with Sigourney Weaver returning in a different role. New cast members include Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, Vin Diesel, and CJ Jones.
Avatar 2 revolves around a universal concept of family and follows Jake Sully and Neytiri 14 years after the first film as they focus on protecting their child. However, they are forced to leave their home and explore the different regions of Pandora when an old threat returns to finish what they started. Jake has never faced a bigger challenge.