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As Avatar 2 begins to inch closer, James Cameron, the visionary director, gradually teases what we can expect from the Avatar’s first of four planned sequels. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Cameron discussed what motivated him to shoot Avatar 2 the way he did and his expectations for the upcoming installments. He also released some photos of behind-the-scenes and images for the project years in the making.

Recently some pieces of information that have been released is that Avatar 2 will take place mostly underwater, which, in terms of production, means that crew and cast had to take major diving lessons. New technology had to be developed in order to create better underwater motion capture. 

avatar-2-behind-the-scenes

Cameron said of the process:

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. […] I do the ocean thing when I’m not making movies. So if I could combine my two greatest loves — one of which is ocean exploration; the other, feature filmmaking — why wouldn’t I?

For his other record-breaking movie, 1997’s Titanic, Cameron also had no holds barred when mimicking the ocean. He put Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, and the crew and cast of the classic love story inside a seventeen million gallon tank. Now, a 900,000 gallon was built mainly for the sequels of Avatar, and Cameron revealed he had absolutely no regrets about doing it:

My colleagues within the production really lobbied heavily for us to do it ‘dry for wet,’ hanging people on wires [instead of filming underwater in a tank]. I said, ‘It’s not going to work. It’s not going to look real.’ I even let them run a test, where we captured dry for wet, and then we captured in water, a crude level of our in-water capture. And it wasn’t even close.

Some behind-the-scenes images reveal the amount of effort put into filming and providing a first-look into Avatar 2, which features the new reef-dwelling Na’vi race, the Metkayina at home by the water, riding on reptile-like water creatures. By the looks of the photos, it seems like 20th Century Studios is sparing no expense during production. Still, it’s no surprise because back in 2009, Avatar made history as it grossed over $2 billion and took the highest-grossing movie top spot from Cameron’s Titanic. Now, repeating this feat may prove difficult since the world has changed in many ways. The 3D experience trend that Avatar brought back is no longer a thing, and COVID teaches studios to adjust their expectations, gross-wise.

Check out the behind-the-scenes images below:

avatar-2-behind-the-scenes

avatar-2-behind-the-scenes

avatar-2-behind-the-scenes

Cameron was blunt about needing all of this work he has been putting into the Avatar franchise to pay off:

The big issue is: Are we going to make any damn money? Big, expensive films have got to make a lot of money. We’re in a new world post-COVID, post-streaming. Maybe those numbers will never be seen again. Who knows? It’s all a big roll of the dice.

Avatar 2 is set to take place 14 years after Avatar, with Jake Sully and Neytiri having settled down and standing aside for their kids’ first adventure. The film will see the return of Sigourney Weaver and introduce Winslet as Ronal, one of the members of the new Na’vi race.

After so many delays, Avatar 2 is set to release on December 16, 2022. The other three sequels are set to premiere every two years, in 2024, 2026, and 2028. 

Bernard Bond

Bernard Bond is a leading expert in celebrity journalism and a television critic.

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