James Cameron Promises Plenty Of Truth And Heart In ‘Avatar’ Sequels

The long wait for an Avatar sequel recently passed the eight-year mark, with nearly three years to go before Avatar 2 finally arrives in theatres. For months, director James Cameron has been tiding over fans with updates about casting and returning characters, but most of the curiosity surrounds his latest technological breakthroughs. While there’s no question that the filmmaker has new tricks up his sleeve, it seems that basic nuts and bolts storytelling is at the core of his strategy for Avatar 2-5.

“I don’t think you advance storytelling,” Cameron said at a Television Critics Association panel over the weekend. “I think storytelling is always about the basics. It’s about people. I think that the lesson for me from the first film that I’ve applied to the new films is the more fantastic the imagery, the more otherworldly and the more you’re pushing out to the edge of what’s possible in terms of bringing imaginative imagery to the screen, the more it has to be grounded in relationship, truth and heart. Hopefully, I’m doing that in spades with the new films.”

According to Cameron, this interest in “truth and heart” also played a major role in his choice of young actors—including Bailey Bas, Trinity Bliss, Jack Champion, Britain Dalton, Duane Evans Jr., Jamie Flatters, and Filip Geljo—for the sequels. “I’m always very cognizant of the cast,” he explained. “I work very hard to cast this and find new young actors coming up who have incredible heart, are just amazing. It doesn’t matter how much you dress it up, create production design and visual effects. If the story doesn’t work, you’re not connecting for the characters, it doesn’t work.”

Avatar 2 arrives in theatres on December 18, 2020. Check out the trailer for the original below.