The premiere of the second “Avatar” is scheduled for December 16, 2022.
In 2009, James Cameron made a picture that was breathtaking: the mysterious planet Pandora, inhabited by tall humanoid creatures with blue skin, wanted to return again and again. Of course, there was a question in the air about the continuation of the picture, which collected almost three billion dollars at the box office and occupies the first line in the list of the highest grossing films in history, but only now the sequels (and there will be several) are beginning to take on a real shape.
THE TITANIC TRACK AND THE BOND GIRL
In “Titanic” Kate Winslet managed not to drown, but on the set of the second “Avatar” the Englishwoman still had to dive deep into the water. Photo: 20th Century Studios
Few doubted that Cameron would be trusted to shoot the sequels: after all, this is not the case when you can randomly change directors, as is often done in franchises a la The Avengers or Pirates of the Caribbean. Only Cameron knew what he needed, and he was usually right. In a recent interview with the Times, he recalled how, while working on Avatar, he put in place producers who said that the picture was too long, and offered to remove the most beautiful scenes with flights on banshees – flying creatures that inhabit Pandora.
– I told them: “Actually, I filmed the Titanic! – remembered the director. “This is the building we’re sitting in right now, this new half-billion dollar complex – paid for with Titanic money. So I can do what I want.” Then they thanked me. It seems to me that sometimes my job is to protect their investments from their own bad decisions.
The producers appreciated the character, intransigence and, most importantly, the result – and gave the go-ahead to shoot four new Avatars at once. The closest of them was called “Avatar: The Path of Water”, because the plot will be connected with a new race for the viewer of the inhabitants of Pandora – the underwater one. The artists from the first part were taken into the picture: Sam Worthington (paralyzed Marine Jake Sully) and Zoe Saldana (warrior Neytiri). According to the plot, Jake and Neytiri will move to live by the ocean, where they will meet the Metkain clan living on the reefs. The heartless employees of the natural resources company RDA, familiar to us from the first part, will, of course, continue to pursue the heroes there as well.
Newcomers to the film are Edie Falco (The Sopranos), Michelle Yeoh (Bond Girl in Tomorrow Never Dies), and Titanic star Kate Winslet. Kate will play a Pandora native living underwater. That is why most of the work on the project was carried out in the ocean above the Mariana Trench.
Professional swimmers were hired to shoot underwater, while the cast and crew were certified in scuba diving and learned how to hold their breath for long periods of time. Winslet was able to stay under water for more than seven minutes. “I had to learn how to freedive to play in Avatar 2, and it was just incredible,” recalled Kate.
For filming, a water tank with a volume of more than 3.5 million liters was built, and the shooting took place on a submarine. In a word, everything will be on a large scale – no poorer than in the first part. The film’s stated budget is $285 million, which is $48 million more than was spent on the first film.
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GOGOL
The premiere of the second series was scheduled to take place on December 21, 2018. Yes, 2018 is not a typo. But the movie hasn’t been released yet. So why was the premiere postponed as many as eight times? All participants in the action have different answers to this question.
Franchise producer Jon Landau assures that the 13-year pause is associated with writing not one, but four scripts – up to the fifth film.
– The script is the plan according to which we work, – he emphasized. – Therefore, most of the time we developed each of the four scenarios, each of them has a self-sufficient and emotional ending. When you watch all four films, you will understand that this is a big, epic saga, connected by a common plot.
Cameron pointed to another reason: the search for “chemistry” and “DNA” of the project – the secret ingredient, without which none of the “Avatar” will not work. While he was groping for the missing element of magic, he had to destroy the script, which was created for a whole year – almost like in the case of the second volume of “Dead Souls”.
– All films work at different levels, – the director is sure. – The first is superficial, that is, characters, problem and solution. The second is thematic. What is the movie trying to say? But Avatar also worked on the third level, the subconscious. I wrote a whole script for the sequel, read it and realized that it didn’t get to the third level. Boom! Started over…
The co-authors of the script did not understand anything about such subtle things and tried to come up with as many bright plot moves as possible, so at some point Cameron even wanted to disperse them. And only the threat of dismissal helped direct the brainstorming in the right direction.
However, the same producer Landau has another excuse – the delay was due to the unavailability of the technologies used to prepare the second part. Of course, after 13 years, viewers are waiting for something at least as cool as they saw in the original Avatar. And to achieve the wow effect in our time is not so easy.
The premiere of the second “Avatar” is scheduled for December 16, 2022, the next parts will be released in 2024, 2026 and 2028.
BY THE WAY
Killed but not dead
This blue girl was played (of course, not without the help of special effects) by 73-year-old Sigourney Weaver. Her heroine is looking at Sigourney from the first Avatar (in the right corner of the frame), where the actress got a completely different role. Photo: Frame from the film
The audience remembers very well that the characters of Sigourney Weaver (the scientist Grace Augustine) and Stephen Lang (the bloodthirsty Colonel Miles Quaritch) died in the first part. Nevertheless, in the second we will see these artists again. And if Mr. Colonel is revived by the specialists of the RDA corporation (in fact, we will see the same warrior, only it will not be quite a person), then Sigourney Weaver will play a different heroine. It is curious that the actress, who recently celebrated her 73rd birthday, will portray … the adopted daughter of Jake and Neytiri. How Sigourney looks in the role of a teenage girl, we will soon find out.