Avatar sequels shot together to avoid Stranger Things effect, says James Cameron
James Cameron filmed Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 together, and wanted to make sure that the audience didn't feel alienated from the characters as the real life actors aged over the years.
James Cameron's sequel to Avatar was a decade in the making. The Academy Award-winner paid special attention to the underwater visual effects and wanted to make sure that there was a strong script to follow the 2009 film with three consecutive releases. The director had earlier revealed that Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 were filmed consecutively, and the fate of those two sequels were dependent on how Avatar: The Way of Water performed at the global box office. Now James has opened up about the possible reason for filming all the three films together. (Also read: Avatar The Way of Water box office day 4 collection: James Cameron film falls by 60%, set to cross ₹150 cr in India soon)
James wanted to make sure that the audience didn't feel alienated with the characters because of the gap between movies, where the actors would age in real life. "I love Stranger Things, but you get the Stranger Things effect where they're supposed to still be in high school, and they look like they're 27. Jack Champion shot up like a weed when we were with him. We shot with Jack when he was 14 and 15, almost up to 16. So we were shooting him over an 18-month period." said the director in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
With the pandemic, there was a six-month gap in production as well, when James thought that the plan would never fall into place. "I was imagining scenarios where we don't go back to work for a year and a half, and we're completely screwed because he's aged out, and then we have to go back and reshoot with another guy. It was like, 'Just hand me the shotgun.' But fortunately, it didn't work out that way. We were able to appeal to the New Zealand government to let in a small group of our key actors so that we could bring the production back," concluded the director.
Avatar: The Way of Water is sequel to 2009 hit Avatar which wowed audiences with pioneering 3D technology. It marks the return of actors Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana as Jake Sully and Neytiri 10 years later as parents of five children. Their peaceful life is interrupted when the Sky People, the Na'vi name for humans, return to go after Jake. The film also stars Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver from the original star cast while Kate Winslet is a new addition. It released in India in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. The film has a long runtime of 192 minutes.