At the end of Avatar, hero Jake Sully was about to start a whole new life – leaving his Earthly body behind, and entering a Na’vi body to live among Neytiri and her fellow Pandora-dwellers. By the time the sequel comes around in 2021, the pair’s relationship will have moved forward considerably, as James Cameron himself revealed in a new Empire interview.
Talking for a very special Empire Podcast documentary for Empire 30 – a 30-minute Avatar making-of, featuring brand new interviews and insights – the filmmaker revealed some interesting tidbits about the highly-secretive sequel. For one, it’s set several years on from the 2009 original – Jake and Neytiri are still together, and they now have an eight year-old daughter. Cameron detailed a ‘critical’ argument scene between the bickering parents, shot from the point of view of their kid – all part of the ‘emotional rollercoaster’ that Jake faces in the coming instalments.
“There’s a three-page argument scene between Jake and Neytiri, a marital dispute, very, very critical to the storyline,” Cameron explains on the Avatar Podumentary. “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.”
Cameron also confirmed that reports of the back-to-back shoot’s completion are only somewhat correct. While the performance-capture elements have indeed wrapped, the live-action scenes are about to go into production. “[Performance-capture] is the vast majority of the characters, and that is the vast majority of the running time of the film,” claims the filmmaker, “but that pesky little live-action component is going to cost me five months of my life, across the two movies.”
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