INTERVIEW. James Cameron for 'Avatar 2': 'Challenge draws me like a magnet'

"Avatar: The Waterway" hits theaters on December 14, 2022, thirteen years after the first episode.

INTERVIEW. James Cameron for 'Avatar 2': 'Challenge draws me like a magnet'

"Avatar: The Waterway" hits theaters on December 14, 2022, thirteen years after the first episode. Before the release of this event film, we met James Cameron when he came to Paris. Interview.

There are few, directors capable of making blockbusters that are as much technical and visual revolutions as storytelling and emotional successes. James Cameron is part of this kind of filmmaker who knew how to conquer the public and the critics unanimously. Terminator (1984), Aliens Return (1986), Abyss (1989), Terminator 2 (1991), Titanic (1997), Avatar (2009), he is the father of some of the greatest successes of the seventh art. Two of his films (Titanic and Avatar) have even each become the biggest box office hits worldwide. He alone has won three Oscars and four Golden Globes. It is to say the monster of cinema.

Thirteen years after the release of Avatar and its immense success at the worldwide box office, James Cameron is back for the release of the second episode. Avatar 2: the way of water. We caught up with the filmmaker during his visit to Paris in early December, a few days before the film's release on December 14. The opportunity to explain to the readers of the reasons for such a wait between the two parts, the challenges encountered on the set, but also the main themes of this new feature film.

Avatar was released in cinemas in December 2009. And it was already a revolution: the feature film then opened the frontiers of the seventh art by introducing 3D, in addition to marveling viewers who discovered Pandora. It became the world's biggest box office success, accumulating more than $2.9 billion in revenue for its theatrical release. Even Avengers: Endgame (nearly $2.8 billion) failed to top it. Avatar: Path of the Water comes out 13 years later, on December 14, 2022. James Cameron chose to take his time before exploring new facets of Pandora: "Production of the film began in September 2017, explains he in an interview. Before that, I wrote the screenplay, I did underwater exploration, I worked on sustainable development..." A way to wrap things up before leaving. to attack his mastodon work: "I knew that from the moment I was going to start working on Avatar 2, it would take over my life and that everything else would be put aside."

James Cameron is not only a renowned filmmaker, he is also an inventor who puts his science at the service of his stories. Avatar used several innovative special effects, particularly in terms of capturing the movements and facial expressions of the actors, but also filming in 3D thanks to a specific digital camera. For Avatar: The Way of the Water, the filmmaker faced a new challenge: filming underwater. "I insisted that the actors really shoot in the water, he confides to us. The actors had to be comfortable in the water and learn to dive, breathe underwater, swim, hold their breaths,..." Kate Winslet (Ronal) became the actress who held the longest time in apnea on a film set, with a record of 7 minutes and 14 seconds under water without breathing. To shoot the underwater scenes, James Cameron developed new technologies and cameras to capture the actors' movements and expressions underwater. "When I hear the word 'challenge', it attracts me like a magnet", laughs the director.

James Cameron is feverish about the reception of Avatar: the way of the water, and is very curious in interviews to know what the journalists thought of his last film. It must be said that this is a hell of a financial bet: as he was able to entrust to QG, the film would have to become "the third or fourth most profitable film in history" to be profitable. Regardless, the director confirmed to us that the third episode of Avatar is already filmed (expected release in 2024), as is the first part of the fourth movie (expected in 2026). A fifth part, scheduled for 2028, is also written and designed, but has not yet entered the filming phase.