James Cameron finally brings a sequel to 2009 Avatar to theaters with Avatar: The way of the water.

If you entered the theater to watch Dr. Strange in the multiverse of madness this weekend you should probably see the first teaser for Avatar: The way of the waterthe long-awaited sequel to the 2009 sci-fi blockbuster Avatar. director James Cameron has spent more than a decade creating the first of four planned sequels, many of which take place in an underwater environment.

(Spoilers for the 2009 film below.)

Cameron wrote a treatment for Avatar back in 1994 and this was to be the director’s next big project after finishing his blockbuster Titanic. But Cameron realized that technology didn’t yet exist to make the film he imagined. He spent several years working to develop what he needed, including an advanced virtual camera system to direct motion scenes. (He compared it to “a big, powerful gaming engine.”)

The visionary gambling paid off. The finished film set new records at the box office when it came out; it was the highest grossing film to date The Avengers: End of the game briefly took the lead in 2019 (Reissued Chinese edition of March 2021 Avatar back on top.) Critics were mostly positive, praising technological advances, although some said the storytelling had suffered slightly. Cameron also consulted with many scientists while designing the world of Pandora (a moon orbiting a gas giant exoplanet called Polyphemus in the Alpha Centauri A system). Avatar was nominated for nine Oscars, eventually winning Best Artistic Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects.

Zoom in / Sam Worthington reprises his role as Jake Sully, now permanently in his avatar form.

YouTube / 20th Century Studios

Even before AvatarComing out, Cameron expressed hope to make two sequels, expanding the story to include other moons of Polyphemus. The first will include the Pandora’s Ocean and include footage at the bottom of the Mariana Trench with deep-sea submersible equipment. (Cameron made his first solo descent to the trench in 2012 with such a submersible machine.) But again, he needed technology that didn’t yet exist – namely, to capture scenes by capturing motion underwater. Like Cameron explained to Collider in 2017:

This has never been done before and is very complicated because our motion capture system, like most motion capture systems, is what they call an optical base, which means it uses markers that shoot hundreds of cameras. The problem with water is not the underwater part, but the interface between air and water, which forms a moving mirror. This moving mirror reflects all the dots and markers and creates a bunch of fake markers. It’s a bit like a fighter jet dumping a pile of chaff to confuse a missile’s radar system. It creates thousands of false targets, so we had to figure out how to get around this problem, which we did. Basically, when you add water to a problem, it just gets 10 times harder. So, we put a lot of horsepower, innovation, imagination and new technology into the problem, and it took us about a year and a half to figure out how to do it.

I look forward to hearing more about the various technological advances made in making this film as the studio’s marketing grows.

Several actors had to undergo special training to film the many underwater scenes.
Zoom in / Several actors had to undergo special training to film the many underwater scenes.

YouTube / 20th Century Studios

Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana play Jake Sully and Natiri, respectively. Jake decided to merge with his avatar permanently at the end of the first film so that he could be with Neytiri and start a Pandora’s family. According to the official synopsis: “Developments more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The way of the water begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri and their children), the troubles that follow, the length they take to protect each other, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure. “

This is rather vague, but in line with what we have heard over the years. Jamie Flutters, Britain Dalton and Trinity Bliss play the couple’s three children (Netham, Lock and Tuck), while Jack Champion plays a human-born teenager named Spider, who is rescued and adopted by the couple. Sigourney Weaver (Dr. Grace Augustine), Stephen Lang (Colonel Miles Quoric) and Matt Gerald (Corporal Lyle Wainfleet) will also return, although all three died in the original. And CCH Pounder returns as Mo’at, the mother of Neytiri and spiritual leader of the Omaticaya clan. Cameron said Quaric would be the main antagonist again. The return of this old threat forces Jake and his family to leave home and explore other parts of Pandora – hence the “waterway”.


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