Just about one year from this very moment, audiences will be lining up to see Avatar 2. Or at least James Cameron hopes so. The sequel to Cameron’s 2009 movie, which remains the highest grossing film of all-time, is set for release December 16, 2022, and a new piece of concept art gives us our first look at its new main characters: Jake and Neytiri’s kids.
That’s the image above, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, which has a new interview with Cameron and his producing partner Jon Landau. The pair once again discuss how the film will largely be set underwater and take place 14 years after the events of the original, meaning Jake and Neytiri’s kids are now some of the main characters. You can see more images from the piece in this tweet from the official Avatar account.
“Ultimately, the sequels are a story about family, and the lengths parents will go through to keep that family together and keep them safe,” Landau said. “I always say that Jim’s movies have universal themes—and really, there’s no more universal theme than family.”
Of course, we’ve been hearing this for years. Avatar 2 was originally supposed to come out in December 2014. But eventually Cameron realized if he wanted to make the movie underwater, he and his teams would have to invent new technology to be able to shoot the movie underwater—and all the actors would have to train so they’d be able to hold their breath and act underwater, just so everything looked real. As a result of that training, stars Sigourney Weaver (in a new mystery role since her character died in the last movie) and Kate Winslet (playing Ronal, a member of the new Metkayina tribe who live underwater) can each hold their breaths for up to seven minutes.
“One of my favorite memories was we had this circular tank, maybe 40 feet wide, with a big glass portal in it. I walked by one day and I see Kate Winslet walking on the bottom of the tank,” Landau said. “She’s walking towards me and sees me in the window, and she just waves, gets to the end of the wall, turns around, and walks all the way back.”
Which, if we’re being honest, seems like a whole lot of work for something no one is even sure if audiences want, Cameron most of all. “The big issue is: are we going to make any damn money?” Cameron said. “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.”
A roll of the dice that will have two small kids caressing a giant water lizard. The still-untitled Avatar 2 will be here in one year. Head to EW for more from Cameron.
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