James Cameron on Avatar 2: “It might sound crazy”

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Disney

“If Avatar hadn’t made so much money, we never would have done this.”

In 2009, James cameron surprised with his science fiction film Avatar, retracing the arrival of Jack Sully, a former crippled sailor, on the planet Pandora. Huge international success (nearly 15 million admissions in France), Avatar was not to stop there, with four sequels planned by Cameron, which are starting to take shape with the imminent arrival of Avatar 2 on our screens. And as the film’s release draws near, with it slated for December 2022, its director has spoken at length with Entertainment Weekly in an exclusive interview.

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Shot almost entirely by motion capture, Avatar was in 2009 a technical feat. More than a decade later, James Cameron is set to take on his own challenge, with a sequel this time shot almost entirely underwater. Indeed, one of the few pieces of information given on Avatar 2 is that the film will be set primarily underwater, which in production terms meant that the cast and crew had to undergo extensive diving lessons and new technology had to be developed in order to better develop motion capture underwater. A binding process, about which Cameron said: “It might sound crazy, the process, I mean, if Avatar hadn’t made that much money, we never would have done that, because it’s kinda crazy. […] I’m interested in the ocean when I’m not making films. So if I could combine my two biggest passions, one being exploring the oceans, the other making feature films, why wouldn’t I? “

To meet this challenge, the filmmaker had to put pressure on his production to use a water tank. “My colleagues in the production insisted that we do the film dry, hanging people on wires. [au lieu de filmer sous l’eau dans un réservoir]. I said : ‘It will not work. It won’t look real ‘. I even let them do a test, where we captured dry for aquatic footage, and then we filmed in the water, aquatic footage in a rudimentary fashion. And it wasn’t even close. ” It remains to film in the water: a step that Cameron knows well, he who carried out in 1997 Titanic with a reconstruction of the sinking of the famous liner in a tank of 65 million liters of water. For Avatar 2, same technique, but smaller: Cameron used “only” 3.4 million liters in his tank, built especially for the Avatar sequels.

The story of Avatar 2 will be centered on Jake, Neytiri and their children

And to continue the saga Avatar, James Cameron is banking on the second film, dated December 14, 2022. This sequel will feature the new breed of Na’vi called Metkayina, living in reefs by the water’s edge and riding aquatic reptile-like creatures . It will take place 14 years after the first film, as Jake Sully (Sam worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe saldana) settled down and sidelined for the sake of their children. A story that, for Cameron, must work with the public: “The big question is: Are we going to make any money? Big, expensive movies have to make a lot of money. We’re in a new post-COVID, post-streaming world. Maybe these numbers will never be seen again. Who knows? It’s a real gamble. “

To note that Avatar 2 will see the return of Sigourney weaver (in an undisclosed role) in the story, as her character would die in Avatar. The actress Kate winslet, well known to Cameron after Titanic, joins the saga and will play Ronal, one of the members of the new Na’vi race.

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