As “Avatar: The Way of Water” breaks box office records with nearly $2 billion worldwide, director James Cameron is pulling back the curtain on how the blockbuster sequel was made.
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Cameron said that filming scenes with both humans and navies was “horribly difficult,” referring to Jack Champion’s character Spider, who spends much of the film tagging along with Pandora’s natives. To shoot the Spider scenes, Champion had to do his entire performance twice, once as reference for his co-stars, such as Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver, and the other to actually film the actor in live-action.
“The beauty was, we got to do it twice,” Cameron said of Champion’s performance. “So [cinematographer] Russian [Carpenter] The scene will light up, so what we did photographically with Jack, we did earlier with him in terms of capture.”
Cameron explained, “Jack did his entire act twice, once for Sigourney and other actors like Britten. [Dalton] And Sam, so he was off camera there. And at that time he was 13 years old. And then when we shot, he was 15, so he changed a little bit in size and vocal range, but we capped him and then we had these capture scenes.”
After making an important decision at the end of “Way of Water,” the champion will star in the third installment of the “Avatar” franchise, as well, premiering in December 2024. Cameron has already teased “what’s to come in Avatar 3,” revealing that the next film will “explore a different culture than the ones I’ve already shown. Fire will be represented by the ‘Ash Man.’ I want to show Navid from a different angle because, so far, I have only shown their good sides.”
“Avatar: The Way of Water” is now playing in theaters nationwide