Avatar 2 recently completed filming, having been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. James Cameron's sequel is the first of four follow-ups to his 2009 sci-fi blockbuster, which until Avengers: Endgame was the highest-grossing movie of all time.
The film reunites Cameron with his Oscar-nominated Titanic star Kate Winslet, here playing a character called Ronal. She's part of a newly discovered clan of Na'vi aliens on the planet of Pandora, to which the film returns. Ronal occupies an acquatic realm and is reportedly a member of the Metkayina clan, or a "water person" to us lay-people.
In an image shared on Twitter, Winslet appears underwater as part of a critical scene. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she said her preparation involved learning to free-dive (submerging without an oxygen tank) for seven minutes, 14 seconds. And we thought she'd had enough experience with water during the troubled making of Titanic.
From Kate Winslet's recent interview in @THR: “I had to learn how to free-dive to play that role in Avatar, and that was just incredible. My longest breath hold was seven minutes and 14 seconds, like crazy, crazy stuff.” pic.twitter.com/ZYAmZdNgHS— Avatar (@officialavatar) October 26, 2020
The Avatar sequels will re-introduce us to Sam Worthington's Jake Sully, a Marine grunt turned Na'vi inhabitant thanks to the Avatar simulation program. Also returning: Zoe Saldana's warrior Neytiri, whom Jake fell in love with in the first movie. Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang are set to reprise their roles from the first movie, despite both being deceased, as is Giovanni Ribisi.
New faces include Michelle Yeoh and Edie Falco. As before, Cameron is pushing the boundaries of motion capture technology, this time taking it into a watery world. This is said to have caused complications with the process of motion-capture, through which actors wear dotted suits and have their movements rendered on a computer. A group of child actors playing young Na'vi inhabitants also had to learn to free dive along with Winslet.
As with so many movie release dates, the placement of the Avatar sequels has shifted. The first of them will now arrive on 16th December 2022 with the rest following in 2024, 2026 and 2028 (at the time of writing). Before we get to that point, Winslet will appear in period drama Ammonite opposite Saoirse Ronan.
Excited about a Winslet/Cameron reunion? Let us know @Cineworld.