From Thursday, you can see Avatar 2 in cinemas in Romania. Avatar: The Way Of Water producer Jon Landau explains why it took thirteen years after Avatar debuted for the natural sequel to appear.
James Cameron began work on Avatar in 1994, developing, writing and refining the script for more than a decade before production began on the groundbreaking first film. Now, thirteen years later, the story of Jake Sully, Neytiri and Pandora will continue in the long-awaited sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water. What’s more, three more sequels are planned to follow.
Avatar 2, in theaters this week
During an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Landau told two of the reasons it took over a decade for the Avatar sequel to hit theaters. He explained that Cameron wanted to develop and write each of the Avatar sequel scripts, with Cameron giving the writers 800 pages of notes before they started the scripts. Landau also shared the logistical reason why they wanted to film the sequel at the same time.
“People say, ‘What took so long?’ The first thing that took time was writing four scripts. We couldn’t just write one and say ‘OK, we’re happy’. We had to write all four. Why was that important? For several reasons. First of all, we wanted our actors to know where their characters are going because the decisions they make early on will impact their decisions later,” Jon Landau said.
“Then there were logistical reasons in our story. Let’s just talk about the kids. We know that children grow up in real life. Well, if movies two and three are basically the same age, we had to shoot all of them at the same time, so it was very important for us to define those scenes to a level where Jim would be happy to direct them,” he continued.
Writing all four sequel scripts before production began allows Cameron and the actors to see the full picture of the overall narrative and the journey of each character. This gives the actors the opportunity to lay the groundwork for the decisions their characters will make from here on out. This also seems ideal from a production perspective. Many franchises that feature younger actors run into problems when actors drop out of the role before telling a full story. By filming both Avatar: The Waterway and Avatar 3 at the same time, this problem can be avoided entirely.