James Cameron Talks ‘Avatar 2’, Those “Pesky” Live-Action Elements, And Kate Winslet’s Performance

James Cameron has done a pretty good job keeping details on his Avatar sequels under wraps, but he’s finally starting to shed a little light. Avatar 2 arrives in 2020, and according to Cameron’s comments to Empire, at the center of the story will be the relationship between Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), who he left his human side for and established a life with her on Pandora. The sequel is set some years after the 2009 movie, with Jake and Neytiri now having an 8-year-old daughter…

“There’s a three-page argument scene between Jake and Neytiri, a marital dispute, very, very critical to the storyline. I wound up shooting it all from the point of view of the eight year old hiding under the structure and peeking in […] Having gone through the experience with [Sam Worthington] on Avatar, I now knew how to write the Jake character going forward across the emotional rollercoaster of the next four movies. It’s been tough on him. He’s done two pictures back to back now, because we did 2 and 3 together. He had to go to some dark places.”

That’s Cameron also confirming the next two sequels were indeed shot back-to-back, however he adds that production is far from over. He’s got all of the technical stuff done, but damned if those “pesky” humans aren’t slowing things down…

“[Performance-capture] is the vast majority of the characters, and that is the vast majority of the running time of the film, but that pesky little live-action component is going to cost me five months of my life, across the two movies.”


One of the new additions to the franchise is Kate Winslet, making this a reunion with her Titanic director. Cameron talked to Vulture (via People) a little bit about her “gung-ho” performance as Ronal, a free-diving member of the Pandoran race…

“She was really excited about doing the water work and at her peak, I think she held her breath for seven-and-a-half minutes – not during the scene but just during the training. She was regularly doing two-or-three minute scenes, underwater acting and swimming.”


Cameron jokingly added…


“She was a dream to work with — not the pain in the a— that she was the first time. No, she was a dream on Titanic as well.”

Avatar 2 opens December 2020.

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