James Cameron Hints That Avatar 2 May Feature Non-Linear Storytelling
Science fiction is a very special genre in the sense that you can really do whatever the hell you want and it can be considered reasonable. To paraphrase Rob Lowe's character in Jason Reitman's Thank You For Smoking, all you need to do is have a character say something like "'Thank God we invented the [blank]" and you're home free. As a result, if you killed off a big name actor in your first film and want them to return for the sequel, it's not exactly a challenge. But James Cameron apparently won't be taking any of those easy routes to bring back Sigourney Weaver's character for Avatar 2.
Vulture spoke with the filmmaker at Popular Mechanics' Breakthrough Awards last night and asked him about the actresses' return for the sequel. Asking about comments made by Weaver about Grace's resurrection, Cameron began by being coy, saying that he didn't want to " disabuse her of that fantasy," but then gave a little insight about the direction of the film. While it's possible he was just shooting from the hip, he suggested the possibility of non-linear storytelling. "A lot happens on that planet before she shows up, and before Jake shows up to join her," Cameron said. "She’s there for fifteen years ahead of time. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t jump to conclusions."
He also revealed what he believes is the only way to actually kill a character in a sci-fi franchise, but even offered a caveat to that:
"When you have a science-fiction series, a science-fiction franchise, you’re never dead, unless your DNA is expunged from the universe. And then there’s always time travel!"
Does this mean that Avatar 2 will feature flashback sequences to the time before Jake Sully showed up on the planet? More importantly, will Grace stay dead and only appear in said flashbacks? It's possible that Cameron is just throwing around ideas here, but it's fun to analyze them. After all, the guy is one of the major icons in the genre.
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