Avatar's James Cameron Has A Blunt Take On Aquaman And The Little Mermaid Not Actually Filming Underwater

Interestingly, there are a few upcoming big-budget films are set to take place in underwater settings. Avatar: The Way of Water is one of those flicks, and it'll immerse viewers in vivid world when it drops later this year. And it'll be followed by other underwater-set fare, including Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and The Little Mermaid, which are both set to come out over the next two years. While the James Cameron-helmed blockbuster was filmed underwater, the latter two films weren’t. Cameron is aware of that fact, and the Oscar-winning director gave a blunt take regarding them not actually filming underwater.

The Avatar director has been open and enthusiastic about filming his movie's underwater sequences in actual water. Lead actor Sam Worthington already spoke about how hard it was to film the underwater work. For the movie, the actors had to learn to hold their breath for minutes, which indicates that Cameron wanted the film to be as realistic as possible. The filmmaker opened up to the New York Times and explained that it's important for movies like Aquaman and The Little Mermaid to have true underwater sequences for the sake authenticity:

Oh, I don’t know, maybe that it looks good? Come on! You want it to look like the people are underwater, so they need to be underwater. It’s not some gigantic leap — if you were making a western, you’d be out learning how to ride a horse. I knew Sam was a surfer, but Sig and Zoe and the others weren’t particularly ocean-oriented folks. So, I was very specific about what would be required, and we got the world’s best breath-hold specialists to talk them through it.

Cameron said what he said. He wanted realistic underwater sequences, so he made sure his cast was prepared for it. On some level, his feelings are understandable. Filming in actual water allows for a weightlessness and floating quality that may not be easily replicated by 3D effects. And the Oscar-winning director is no stranger to putting his actors in the water, as evidenced by the final scenes of Titanic. The film’s underwater technology is already being praised, and it should only build upon the game-changing 3D tech of the OG movie.

While both films weren’t filmed underwater, Aquaman and The Little Mermaid still looked stunning in their own rights, though. Fans have only gotten concept art from the DC film’s sequel, but Disney’s teaser trailer for its live-action remake teased that Ariel’s underwater world will be a visual wonder. Both underwater-based films are part of the 2023 upcoming movie slate, and fans seem excited to check them both out.

Moviegoers will see some stunning underwater visual effects when Avatar: The Way of Water hits cinemas on December 16. The blockbuster sequel will follow Jake Sully and his family, as they defend their homeland, and the final product should be a "gorgeous" Avatar follow-up for fans. It stars original cast members Worthington, Zoe Zoe Saldaña, and Sigourney Weaver with newcomers like Kate Winslet and Michelle Yeoh. It'll be interesting to see the fruits of James Cameron's labor, especially when it comes to those water sequences.

Before the film arrives though, rent or buy the original Avatar if you have an Amazon Prime Video subscription. Also, check out this year's schedule of upcoming movies to learn about what else is hitting theaters before 2022 ends.

Adreon Patterson
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A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).