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While the majority of news we’ve seen regarding Avatar 2 over the last few years has been about a new delay every now and then, it now looks like the film may actually be moving forward. While writer and director James Cameron won’t say much about what is coming out of the work he’s doing, he has confirmed that work is being done on a specific aspect, and that’s a start.
James Cameron was in Los Angeles showing support for an independent film out of New Zealand called The Dark Horse. While there, the Associated Press asked him about what was going on with Avatar 2. While he refused to go into detail, he did confirm that early motion capture work is happening.
We do performance capture work. You have to think of it more like an animated film, so it’s not really shooting per se. It’s a lot of performance capture work, so yeah, we’re getting into that. ... It’s top secret. Remember The Manhattan Project, did they talk about that?
Never led it be said that James Cameron doesn't hold his work in high regard. He just compared his science fiction movie sequel to the development of the atomic bomb. That’s a thing that just happened. Cameron also compares his pre-production work to that of an animated film, which for the most part is pretty accurate. The original Avatar used computer graphics to create nearly ever single visual in the film, so the actors movements are not so much as filmed as recorded by a computer to be placed in the final picture. Cameron says they’re "getting into that," which implies he’s in the very early stages of it. This would make sense. At least one of his primary actors isn’t currently available. Zoe Saldana is in Georgia filming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, so she can’t currently do much to reprise her role as Neytiri right now.
The fact that any work at all is being done is good news for fans of the Avatar franchise. James Cameron has been planning a trilogy of films to follow the original for years but production has been pushed back multiple times. While the difficulty in getting the scripts finalized has appeared to have been the major reason, it has resulted in several release date changes. The most recent announcement followed on the heels of Lucasfilm’s decision to push Star Wars: Episode VIII back to December 2017, to about a week before the scheduled date for Avatar 2. Fox announced that Avatar 2 would vacate that date shortly after that. No new date has yet been announced.
Are you excited to hear that Avatar 2 is finally taking baby steps forward? When do you think we’ll ever see it in theaters?