Scenes From Avatar 3 And Avatar 4 Have Already Been Shot To Avoid ‘The Stranger Things Effect’, James Cameron Reveals
As Avatar: The Way of Water rides the waves through theaters, director James Cameron has now coined a new phrase called the “Stranger Things Effect.” Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the filmmaker claimed that some footage from Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 was shot in tandem with the second Avatar movie, to avoid the child actors inevitably growing up and showing. signs of aging. The multi-year project was to be covered in one production, “Otherwise you get – and I love Stranger Things – but you get the Stranger Things effect where they’re supposed to still be in high school [but] they look like they’re 27,” Cameron said.
While it’s easy for Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña to slip into their roles at any time, it never stopped child actors’ growth spurts. Jack Champion, who plays Miles “Spider” Socorro, the adopted human child of Jake Sully and Neytiri, was 14 when Avatar: The Way of Water began filming. “We shot with Jack when he was 14 and 15, almost until he was 16. So we shot him over an 18-month period,” Cameron told EW. The actor is now an adult, he turned 18 in November. The production would continually switch between filming scenes from The Way of Water, the entirety of Avatar 3, and Act 1 of Avatar 4.
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Sure, performance capture could turn returning star Sigourney Weaver into teenage Kiri, but there are limits to VFX performance capture. Trinity Jo-Li Bliss plays Tukt, Jake and Neytiri’s youngest child, and was cast in Avatar 2 when she was around seven years old. She is now 13 years old. Likewise, 19-year-old Bailey Bass, who played Tsireya of the Metkayina coastal clan, was around 12 when she auditioned for the sequel. While not as prominent, the effects of aging are definitely noticeable in Netflix’s Stranger Things, where the voices of the male leads get deeper with each season. Cameron wanted to avoid that and built on the Pandora arc as quickly as possible, while leaving out a few unanswered questions at the end of each entry. “You can call it sequel bait, but I’m not trying to justify a sequel,” Cameron said in the interview. “We’ve already shot the other m–n movie. I don’t have to sell it to anyone.
Speaking to Variety earlier this year, Avatar: The Way of Water producer Jon Landau briefly touched on the process of filming the franchise’s follow-ups, noting that there were “logistical reasons” for them. actions they have taken. And now we know why – to prevent the “Stranger Things effect”. Cameron also made some bold statements about his Avatar universe, saying he was even willing to end the franchise with a trilogy if Avatar 2 underperformed.
In its first week, Avatar: The Way of Water has now surpassed the $600 million mark (roughly Rs. 5,052 crore) at the global box office. Although its production budget was not explicitly mentioned, Cameron suggested that the film needed to become “the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history, to break even”.
The idea of shooting three films in a row never seemed intimidating to Saldaña, at least from a plot and thematic point of view. “We did deep readings, we discussed at length where we were, we defined the rhythms that distinguished [Avatar] 2 out of 3,” she told EW. “So from where I was standing, I never felt it was uncomfortable or anything, but it just had to do with how long we took to get ready. Jim brings you into the l whole process and listens to you. Every need you have, he pays great attention to that detail and tries to the best of his ability to accommodate and incorporate your input.
Avatar: The Way of Water is out now in India, in English, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. Avatar 3 is scheduled for release in December 2024, followed by Avatar 4 in December 2026.