What do you do after making the world’s highest-grossing film of all time, smashing your own record established more than a year ago?
What do you do after making the world’s highest-grossing film of all time, smashing your own record established more than a decade earlier? If you’re James Cameron, you take a deep breath before diving straight into the deep end. After his amazing tropical epic of blue-skinned aliens and environmental preaching, Avatar, topped the box office in 2009, the filmmaker pledged to return with not one, but four planned sequels. He determined that the first of these (which would be released in cinemas on December 16, 2022) would be set largely underwater, which would require years of technical study and months of training for performers to hold their breath for lengths that would astonish even a Navy SEAL. Cameron is now ready to reintroduce viewers to Pandora with an ambitious aquatic masterpiece that has literally been a decade in the making.
Cameron describes Avatar 2’s journey as “kind of crazy:”
“The method sounds sort of crazy,” Cameron, 67, concedes, with a giggle. “I mean, if Avatar hadn’t earned so much money, we’d never have done this-it’s sort of insane.” Listening to the director explain Avatar 2’s path, the phrase “sort of insane” sounds like an understatement. Cameron began preparing the sequel by himself in 2012, bringing in a writing team in 2013 to assist in designing four scenarios that would span Pandora’s various topography and continue the story of man vs. nature from the first film. Avatar 2 (an official title has yet to be announced) began filming in 2017, with a story set 14 years after the original: former human soldier Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Na’vi warrior Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) have settled down and started a family, and much of the film focuses on their preteen offspring. “Ultimately, the sequels are about family and the lengths parents will go to keep their family together and secure,” producer Jon Landau adds. “I often say Jim’s movies have global themes—and there isn’t a more universal concept than family.” Both Avatar 2 and 3 are primarily set in and around the water, with the Metkayina, a new tribe of reef-dwelling Na’vi, making an appearance. Pandora’s new tropical beaches and shoreline are described by Landau as “Bora Bora on steroids.” If the first video focused on the rain forest, with its warning narrative about destruction, the new chapters are a love letter to Cameron’s first love, the sea. The Titanic filmmaker has long fought for ocean protection, and in 2012 he undertook a record-breaking expedition to the Mariana Trench. “When I’m not creating movies, I do the ocean thing,” he adds. So, why wouldn’t I combine my two biggest hobbies, one of which is ocean exploration and the other is feature filmmaking?
Challenges Faced By The Production Team In Setting A Story Below Sea Level:
Setting a narrative below sea level, on the other hand, provides a number of difficulties. The groundbreaking performance-capture technology developed for the original Avatar was not meant to function underwater, so Cameron and his crew had to devise a means to precisely record the actors’ smallest movements and reactions while immersed. Artists at the multi-award-winning visual-effects studio Weta Digital then animated the footage. Much of the performance-capture filming was done in a 900,000-gallon tank (created particularly for the sequels) that could simulate the ocean’s whirling currents and pounding waves. “My colleagues in production really campaigned hard for us to make it “dry for wet,” dangling people on wires,” Cameron explains. “‘It’s not going to work,’ I said. It’s not going to appear authentic. ” I also let them conduct a test in which we caught dry for wet and then in water, a rough level of our in-water capture. Many of the cast members trained for the dive by becoming scuba certified, culminating in a field trip to Hawaii to dive with manta rays. However, air bubbles and scuba technology would have interfered with the performance-capture technique during production, so each actor had to train with expert divers until they could free dive for minutes at a time. Cameron claims that 72-year-old Sigourney Weaver, who died in the first film and is returning in a top-secret new role, can comfortably hold her breath for six and a half minutes, while new cast member Kate Winslet “blew everybody away when she performed a seven-and-a-half-minute breath hold.” Cameron and his Titanic co-star Winslet reunite in Avatar 2; the 46-year-old Oscar and Emmy winner portrays one of the Metkayina, a mystery figure named Ronal. Landau stated that “One of his best recollections is of a circular tank, about 40 feet wide, with a large glass doorway in it.” He happened to go by one day and saw Kate Winslet walking on the tank’s bottom.”( “She’s going towards me and sees me in the window, and all she does is wave, walk to the end of the wall, turn around, and walk all the way back.”
The first movie was no easy feat, requiring more than a decade to complete when James Cameron initially conceived the idea:
The first picture was no easy feat, requiring more than a decade to complete when Cameron initially conceived of the idea. On the other hand, Cameron and Landau say their intention with the sequels was to aspire higher — and delve deeper. Principal filming on Avatar 3 (expected in 2024) has already concluded, and Weta has begun early postproduction on several scenes. The fourth and fifth films are presently scheduled for release in 2026 and 2028, respectively. “What we’re doing today, from a historical and a global aspect,” Landau adds, “is on a much wider scale. “( That’s both exhilarating and difficult. We’re putting a lot more care into the cast’s performances, but we’re also putting a lot more complexity and diversity into the world we’re creating. ” Nonetheless, while a series of big-budget sequels to the highest-grossing film ever produced may appear to be a foregone conclusion, Cameron adds that the theatrical scene has evolved dramatically since the original Avatar opened in cinemas. In 2009, Netflix streaming was just getting started, Blockbuster hadn’t yet gone bankrupt, and 20th Century Fox, the original Avatar studio, was still years away from being acquired by Disney. Cameron thinks that 13 years later, in a new era of superheroes and streamers, people will still identify with his vision of faraway worlds and adventure. In total, Avengers: Endgame surpassed Avatar as the most successful film of all time in 2019 — but Avatar reclaimed the title after a China rerelease in early 2021, setting a new record with a worldwide total of $2.847 billion (beating Endgame by approximately $50 million).
Cameron says that the big issue is: are we going to make any damn money? With his two sequels:
“The main question is, are we going to earn any money?” Cameron says this about his planned sequels. “Large, costly films must make a lot of money. We’ve entered a new era, post-COVID, post-streaming. Perhaps such [box office] figures will never be seen again. Who can say? It’s all a game of chance. ” But hey, if you want to create a huge impression, don’t be scared to get your feet wet. So, are you looking forward to Avatar 2 and 3? Please let us know in the comments section below.