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Avatar: The way of water was a notoriously delayed project. Writer-director James Cameron first announced the sequel to his 2009 hit Avatar: in 2010, with the goal of releasing it in 2014 and following up with the third Avatar film in 2015. But every time the release date approached, Cameron announced a new delay, delaying the releases for another year or so. And all that jump in the release calendar happened before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and long film delays and schedule shuffling became commonplace.

The reasons for the delays were often unclear. Cameron spoke about the “logistical and technical elements” involved in making multiple films, especially after the announcement that two more sequels would follow. Avatar 3:, for a total of five films. And the complications of filming Avatar: The way of water, as seen in early behind-the-scenes footage hint at the film’s unusual levels of production difficulty.

But in a recent interview with Polygon, Avatar: and: Avatar: The way of water Producer John Landau says that the production and release delays were not primarily due to the goal of bringing the aquatic Na’vi and their detailed whale friends to life.

“We didn’t have to stay here for technology,” he said. “I think the first one Avatar: proved to us that we can be the catalyst to push technology where we need to go.”

Instead, he says the delays occurred because the filmmaking team was determined to get all four scripts. Avatar: sequels were written and finalized before filming Avatar 2: even started.

“We felt this project was about getting history right,” he said. “You’ll never build a house until you have a blueprint to build from. Scripts are that project. So we wanted to wait for all four of them to be there.”

That decision may have had something to do with the casting of the child actors who serve as the main characters Avatar: The way of water. The film follows the story of Space Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), who takes on the avatar body of a 10-foot felinoid Na’vi native to the planet Pandora, and ends up marrying a local Na’vi’s wife, Neytiri. Zoe Saldaña) as a partner. But inside The way of water, the focus shifts in part to their biological children, Neteyam (Jamie Flutters), Loak (Brittany Dalton), and Took (Trinity Jo-Lee Bliss); their adopted teenage daughter, Kirin (Sigourney Weaver); and the children’s young friend, Spider (Jack Champion).

Image: 20th Century Studios

It seems likely that Avatar 3: — with which they shot each other The way of water — will continue topics left out at the end of the story Avatar 2:and that Avatar 4: will first continue the children’s story, then jump forward in time to their adulthood. Cameron confirmed that “the first action”. Avatar 4: has already been shot, though there’s no guarantee the story will continue past the third film. Landau reasoned.

“There were logistical reasons, it turned out, why it was necessary to shoot not only the second and third films, but now the first act of the fourth part. We couldn’t wait to do it later,” he said. “So we wanted to put it all in place. And then we felt like we could be the catalyst again to push the technology to tell these stories.”

Landau confirms that “Sul’s Children” will be a staple of the “Avatar” movies and a way to introduce new generations to new environments on Pandora, like the coastal area where many The way of water happens.

“They are, in many ways, our entry into this new world of Pandora that we’re going into,” he said. “It’s a family story. But it’s not just from a parent’s perspective. It’s also told from the point of view of children, children struggling to find their place in life. One of them feels like an outcast. Another questions his background, where he even comes from. These are the things that people struggle with today. makes it relatable. This is the Soul kids with whom we go on our first swim experience, at the reef. We see it through their eyes. And now that we’re wrapping up the movies, we’ll be growing with them as we go through the saga.”

Avatar: The way of water is in theaters now. The third film is scheduled for release in December 2024, while the 4th and 5th films are slated for 2026 and 2028 respectively.

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