The upcoming sequel to 2009 blockbuster Avatar is shaping up to be an incredibly risky venture, with ballooning production costs, worrying delays in filming, and an increasingly faint memory of the original movie, its world, and characters in the public mind. Against such odds are staked the reputation of Avatar creator James Cameron as a man who can pull off miracles at the box office. In an interview with Toronto Sun, the filmmaker appeared to have complete confidence in his passion project, and what it has to offer audiences:
"I deal with images in that world every single day and there are some days when I look at those images and say, 'This is really amazing.' I'm not patting myself on the back with that comment."
"It's a distillation of some of the best designers in the world and a great cast. But if you've got the script right and the design right and you have a great cast, then it's just an iterative process to get the whole thing shot and assembled."
Critics claim that a large part of the original Avatar's success lay in its groundbreaking use of 3d technology in cinema. With the technology finding widespread use in the industry since then, skeptics point out that Avatar 2 will not be able to blow audiences away with the same 3d tricks. But Cameron believes his sequel, a large portion of which takes places underwater, will showcase 3d technology in ways that no movie has before:
"It will be in 3D and selective high-frame rates in certain sections. We're picking those as we go along. The whole thing will be projected at high-frame rate, but it won't necessarily be displayed that way. It's kind of complicated, but the projectors have to run at 24 or 48 fps - you have to pick - we're running at 48. But a lot of it will be rendered at 24 fps. I've tried to explain this before, and people sort of get it and don't get it. All I can say is, it will be seamless. But I'm not touting it as some brand-new format."
Of course, all the clever trickery and special effects can't make up for a weak storyline. In a 2018 interview promoting the documentary show AMC Visionaries: James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction, James Cameron had revealed that his intention for the multiple Avatar sequels was to create something akin to The Godfather in space:
"I found myself as a father of five, starting to think about what would an Avatar story be like if it was a family drama, if it was The Godfather. Obviously very different genre, but I got intrigued by that idea. So, that's really what it is. It's a generational family saga. And that's very different from the first film. Now, it's the same type of setting, and there's the same respect for the shock of the new, that we want to show you things that not only you haven't seen, but haven't imagined. I think that's absolutely critical to it. But the story's very different. It's a continuation of the same characters, but what happen when warriors that are willing to go on suicide charges, and leap off cliffs on to the back of big orange toruks, what happens when they grow up and have their own kids? It becomes a very different story. Now the kids are the risk-takers and the change-makers. So, it's interesting, but it makes sense to me. Everybody's either a parent, or they had parents at the very least, and if you look at the big successful franchises now, they're pretty much uninterested in that."
These new quotes come courtesy of Toronto Sun.