When 20th Century Fox premiered James Cameron’s ambitious sci-fi epic “Avatar” in 2009, there was really no solid plan to turn it into a multi-film franchise. But once the movie proved its box-office mettle, Cameron and Fox entered into an agreement for sequels, initially two then expanded into four. Not even the eventual talks to have the Fox film studio be acquired by Disney were going to stop the follow-ups from being completed. Borrowing a page from New Line’s production of “Lord of the Rings,” “Avatar 2” and “3” were produced back-to-back starting 2017. Performance capture photography ended November last year, with live-action filming following.
While that segment of production has not yet fully completed, it is done where 2019 is concerned. The production crew has packed it in for the Holidays as Entertainment Weekly would have it. But to celebrate the conclusion of nearly a year’s worth of live filming, they have shared some sneak peeks of the first sequel’s set on the official “Avatar” Twitter page. The set photos, uploaded on the last day of November, give a significant portion of what to expect with the second installment of the now-assured “Avatar” franchise.
One image posted on the “Avatar” Twitter is described as the aft portion of a ship being used in the world of Pandora, the lush planet inhabited by the Na’vi, of which humans have previously interacted with using Na’vi-human “avatar” bodies before they were mostly driven away with a few exceptions. The ship set is called the “Sea Dragon,” which is a mother-ship that serves as a mobile port of sorts, as it carries smaller ships in itself. The utilitarian look of the set will surely be spruced up with blue-screen visuals when filming wraps.
Initial information on “Avatar 2” would have it that the sequel will explore the oceans of Pandora, as the image of the Sea Dragon would attest to. James Cameron of course has pulled triple-duty of writing, producing and directing the project. A solid majority of the cast from 2009 has been confirmed to return: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, CCH Pounder, Joel David Moore, and Dileep Rao. Surprisingly, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang are confirmed to return despite their respective characters’ deaths, though weaver hints at playing a different character. New cast auditions include Kate Winslet, Jemaine Clement and Michelle Yeoh. The film is expected to premiere in December of 2021.
Image courtesy of The Verge