Nearly ten years after the release of the original in 2009, production has finally completed on Avatar 2 and Avatar 3.
The first Avatar, a sci-fi passion project from director James Cameron, broke all existing box office records upon its release, grossing nearly 2.8 billion dollars. This beat the previous highest grossing film, Titanic (also directed by James Cameron), by over 600 million dollars.
Since you've probably forgotten over the past ten years, here's a brief refresher on Avatar's plot (to the extent that one existed): Avatar takes place on the mystical world of Pandora, inhabited by big blue lifeforms called Na'vi. Avatars are the human/Na'vi hybrid bodies which allow humans to explore the otherwise poisonous alien world. Then Dances With Wolves happens, except instead of a Civil War soldier and a tribe of Lakota Indians, it's a bunch of blue monsters with distended limbs.
The new films, two of four slated sequels, will star Cliff Curtis as a new character named Tonowari, the leader of a reef-dwelling Na'vi clan known as the Metkayina. Returning cast members include Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington as the taboo Na'vi/human couple Neytiri and Jake Sully. Sigourney Weaver will also return as Jake Sully's mentor, Dr. Grace Augustine, who supposedly died in the first movie. So expect some thrilling star-studded flashbacks.
Other newcomers include Oona Chaplain (Robb Stark's beloved on Game of Thrones), Cliff Curtis from Fear the Walking Dead, and Kate Winslet, who can do much better than an Avatar sequel.
Given the monetary success of the first film, it might come as a surprise that Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 are not guaranteed. Rather, their existence will be heavily dependent upon the success of the next two sequels.
A guy who makes actors "hold their breath" for two to four minutes. pmcdeadline2.files.wordpress.com
That being said, success shouldn't be a problem, at least if James Cameron is to be believed. The visionary director has made some bold statements about his upcoming sequels, telling Empire Magazine in 2014, “They're gonna be bitchin'. You will shit yourself with your mouth wide open." Frankly, that sounds like a horrific experience.
Also, a good portion of both new films will take place underwater. Cameron told Collider in 2017, “We've got six teenagers and one seven-year-old, and they're all playing a scene underwater. We've been training them for six months now, with how to hold their breath, and they're all up in the two to four minute range. They're all perfectly capable of acting underwater, very calmly while holding their breath. We're not doing any of this on scuba. And we're getting really good data, beautiful character motion and great facial performance capture. We've basically cracked the code." Translation: James Cameron waterboarded a bunch of kids.
Considering how long these movies have taken to make, and the hefty budgets associated (roughly one billion dollars spread across the sequels), James Cameron is sure to be pulling out all the stops. And what's a few drowned actors in the name of cinematic achievement?
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