American epic science fiction film Avatar was released in 2009. The film has attained cult status and had become the highest-grossing film worldwide for nearly a decade until it was overtaken by Avengers: Endgame in 2019. James Cameron is now coming up with a sequel for the blockbuster film.
The filmmaker is set to come up with four sequels but only Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 are currently in production. He has also completed principal filming of the film and ae expected to hit the screens on December 16, 2022, and December 20, 2024, respectively. The other two subsequent sequels will be released on December 18, 2026, and December 22, 2028.
As the excitement around the epic science fiction film, Avatar 2 is still high, filmmaker James Cameron is set to introduce a new clan of reef-dwelling Na’vi called the Metkayina. As per Entertainment Weekly, the Oscar-winning filmmaker is returning to Avatar’s native place Pandora for the upcoming sequels.
Cameron also said that the sequels’ story which is set below sea level presented him with more than a few challenges. The films are a combination of innovative performance capture and his lifelong love for the ocean. To achieve his vision, he and his team had to engineer a way to accurately record the actors’ tiniest movements and expressions while submerged. The footage will then be used by the animation artists at the multi-Oscar-winning visual-effects company Weta Digital.
Much of the performance-capture filming took place in a 900,000-gallon tank with an aim to mimic the ocean’s swirling currents and crashing waves. The tank was built specifically for filming the sequels of Avatar. James Cameron said, “My colleagues within the production really lobbied heavily for us to do it ‘dry for wet,’ hanging people on wires. 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.”
The filmmaker even hired experts in underwater dance and gymnastics to train the actors for the complicated performance-capture scenes. Several of his team members prepared for the plunge by getting scuba-certified. Producer Jon Landau explains Avatar 2 as, “Ultimately, the sequels are a story about family, and the lengths parents will go through to keep that family together and keep them safe. I always say that Jim’s movies have universal themes — and really, there’s no more universal theme than family.”
James Cameron also noted that since the theatrical landscape has shifted after the 2009 film Avatar. He then said, “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 [box office] numbers will never be seen again. Who knows? It’s all a big roll of the dice.”