James Cameron's Avatar sequels have added another A-lister in the form of Crazy Rich Asians' Michelle Yeoh.
The Hong Kong actress, who has also starred in Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies and martial arts epic Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, will play scientist Dr Karina Mogue, confirms The Hollywood Reporter.
"Throughout her career, Michelle has always created unique and memorable characters. I look forward to working with Michelle to do the same thing on the Avatar sequels," says Cameron.
Yeoh has also appeared in Memoirs of a Geisha and CBS' Star Trek Discovery. She joins the burgeoning cast of the ongoing Avatar franchise, which is set to comprise four sequels in total.
Released in December 2009, Avatar rose to become the highest-grossing movie of all time with grosses of $2.7 billion worldwide. The story of the indigenous Na'Vi population of Pandora, it's widely regarded as a watershed moment in the development of CGI motion capture effects.
All four of the Avatar follow-ups have been shot back to back. Avatar 2, due for release on 18th December 2020, takes the motion capture technology pioneered in the 2009 original, and applies it to an underwater environment.
It's a characteristic sign of Cameron's ambition – he's the film-maker who fought through infamously difficult underwater conditions to make 1989's The Abyss, and who introduced liquid metal CGI morphing effects in 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Yeoh joins Kate Winslet, the star of Cameron's 1997 blockbuster Titanic, and returning face Sigourney Weaver. Given the latter, who plays Dr Grace Augustine, died in the first Avatar, it remains to be seen how they will bring her back.
Avatar 3 is released on 17th December 2021, Avatar 4 on 20th December 2024 and Avatar 5 on 19th December 2025.
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